Weak dollar and Chinese imports rise to increase LME aluminum prices
London February 26 news, LME copper and other industrial metals prices rose on Monday, helped by the weak dollar and rising Chinese imports to boost demand expectations.
Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale, said that rising global stock markets also ignited risk asset preferences, including metals.
"The macro and micro factors are good," he said.
At 1217 GMT, three-month copper in the LME rose 0.6% to US$7,139.50 per tonne, close to the four-year high of US$7,312.50 hit in January.
China’s copper imports in January rose by 13% to 314,525 tons, while refined nickel imports doubled to 26,691 tons, and refined zinc imports jumped 287% to 67,111 tons.
At the same time, however, China's scrap metal imports fell to its lowest level in two years. The import of scrap copper decreased by 28% year-on-year.
The price of copper rose sharply last year, as it is expected that the reduction in the import of scrap metal in China will increase the demand for refined copper.
The good economic data raised the strong expectations of metal demand. China's new home prices rose in January, and surveys show that China's manufacturing PMI in February is expected to rise.
The data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released on Friday showed that as of the week of February 20, the bet on copper net long positions in COMEX has increased for the first time in recent years.
The U.S. dollar fell to a three-year low against a basket of major currencies, supporting dollar-denominated metal prices.
LME three-month aluminum rose 1.1% to 2,163.50 US dollars per ton, close to the six-year high of 2,290.50 US dollars, due to LME aluminum cancellation warrants increased by 32%, the largest increase since 2011.
In terms of other base metals, three-month zinc rose 1.2% to US$3,544 per ton;
Three-month nickel rose 1.4% to US$13,965 per ton;
Three-month lead rose 1.9% to US$2,581 per ton;
Three-month tin was flat at $21,650 per ton.