METALS-Copper hits 5-week high on euro, growth optimism
* Copper hits highest since late Oct, up 2.4 pct in Nov
* Aluminium Dec-Jan backwardation jumps to $20
* Coming up: U.S. Chicago PMI for Nov at 1445 GMT
LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Copper rose to its highest level in more than five weeks on Friday, supported by a strong euro and growing confidence in the economic outlook for top consumer China, with prices on track to post their first monthly rise in two months. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose to $7,948.50 a tonne at 1023 GMT. It was untraded at the close on Thursday, but was bid at $7,899.50 a tonne. Copper earlier hit a session peak of $7,965 a tonne, highest since Oct. 23, helped by chart-based buys after it cracked its 200 day moving average of $7,905. Prices are on track to rise more than two percent in November, bringing total gains this year to around five percent. "The market is now beginning to appreciate that the worst is over in terms of the growth numbers in China and it does look like things there are beginning to show a slow and gradual improvement," said Gayle Berry, analyst at Barclays. "There has also been some short covering triggered by slightly more positive expectations for Chinese growth numbers and positive data from the United States especially from the construction sector." Investors are likely to focus on purchasing managers' index (PMI) numbers from China due on Saturday, for fresh clues on the pace of recovery in the country which makes-up 40 percent of global copper demand. Economists polled by Reuters expect China's factory activity in November probably expanded at its fastest pace in seven months, reinforcing views that the country's economic recovery is entrenched going into the final quarter of the year. Copper prices could stage a snap rally going into the end of the year, given low liquidity and supply constraints further out that make the metal one of the top commodities pick for 2013, said Jonathan Barratt, chief executive of Barratt's Bulletin, a Sydney-based commodity research firm. "There's a couple of gazillion dollars on the sidelines waiting to park itself. What I worry about is that all of a sudden there will be a rush to the gates for big assets....I think now represents a good time to buy," he added. The euro rose against the U.S. dollar, helped by a deal agreed earlier in the week to release aid funds to Greece. A weaker dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. dollar cheaper for holders of other currencies. Also supporting the single currency, ECB President Mario Draghi reaffirmed the bank stood ready to do whatever necessary to keep the euro stable, and forecast a recovery for the euro zone in the second half of next year.
CHINA DEMAND The world's biggest copper producer, Codelco said in an interview that it saw encouraging signs of a recovery in China, adding that a pledge by China's new leadership to boost urbanisation would boost demand for the red metal. China's top maker of copper tubes, Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, expected 2013 production to rise by 14 percent from a year ago, as signs of an improving economy inspire cautious optimism, boosting orders at home and abroad. Benchmark aluminium rose to $2,088.75 a tonne from a close of $2,063 on Thursday, having earlier hit its highest in nearly eight weeks at $2,092 a tonne. It was boosted by a lack of available supply and chart-based buying after it broke through its 200-day moving average of $2,024 on Thursday, traders said. Reflecting an absence of readily available stock, the premium for the December contract jumped to $20 against the January contract on Thursday from $3.75 at the start of the month. Three-month zinc rose to $2,055 from Thursday's close of $2,027, also hitting a near eight week high at $2,062, while benchmark lead climbed to $2,239 from $2,222. Tin was at $21,870 from $21,970 a tonne while nickel rose to $17,255 from $17,000.
Metal Prices at 1032 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd Pct
COMEX Cu 361.70 1.90 +0.53 344.75 4.92 LME Alum 2089.25 26.25 +1.27 2020.00 3.43 LME Cu 7950.00 170.00 +2.19 7600.00 4.61 LME Lead 2237.25 15.25 +0.69 2034.00 9.99 LME Nickel 17225.00 225.00 +1.32 18650.00 -7.64 LME Tin 21822.00 -48.00 -0.22 19200.00 13.66 LME Zinc 2056.00 29.00 +1.43 1845.00 11.44 SHFE Alu 15495.00 120.00 +0.78 15845.00 -2.21 SHFE Cu* 57270.00 900.00 +1.60 55360.00 3.45 SHFE Zin 15455.00 290.00 +1.91 14795.00 4.46 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07