METALS-Copper aims at biggest daily rise in 6 weeks on US fiscal deal
(Adds details; updates prices)
* LME lead hits 15-month high; cancelled warrant ratio at record high
* China Dec official PMI matches Nov's seven-month high
* Coming up: Euro zone Markit Mfg PMI, Dec; 0858 GMT
SINGAPORE, Jan 2 (Reuters) - London copper rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday, headed for its biggest daily rise since mid-November, as the U.S. Congress struck a deal to avert a fiscal disaster and upbeat China data indicating steady improvement in the world's top copper consumer also boosted prices. The U.S. Congress approved a tax increase for the nation's wealthiest households in a last-minute deal, ending the U.S. "fiscal cliff" crisis that threatened a U.S. recession and roiled world financial markets. The resolution that came after months of political wrangling sent Asian stocks to a five-month high, weighed on safe-haven dollar and boosted industrial metals that thrive on a better economic outlook. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed to a near three-week high of $8,130 a tonne, but pared gains later. By 0746 GMT, it was trading at $8,111.75, up 2.3 percent - its biggest daily rise since Nov. 19. "Less tail risk in the U.S., China coming up with a cyclical bound, combined with a weaker dollar. Voila! There you have the higher prices," said Dominic Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore. Copper is expected to rise towards $9,000 in the first half of the year before weakening in the second half due to solid supply growth and less incremental demand, he added. "If metals prices rally, it is probably not for a structural reason but a cyclical bound," Schnider said. "We would like to sell into metal rallies." China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index held steady in December at 50.6, matching November's seven-month high and adding to evidence that the world's second-largest economy was headed towards steady growth revival.
Technical analysis suggested that LME copper could rise towards $8,140 after it cleared the resistance at $8,063, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.
LEAD HITS 15-MONTH HIGH; CANCELLED WARRANT RATIO SPIKES LME lead rose to $2,375 a tonne, its highest since September 2011, after finishing 2012 with a 14-percent climb. Lead stocks at LME warehouses dropped to 320,325 tonnes on Dec. 28, the lowest since early November. The ratio of cancelled warrant -- material earmarked for delivery -- to total stocks rose to a record high of 57 percent. The average ratio stood at less than 8 percent since the beginning of 2008. Locations with the highest ratio of cancelled warrant are Long Beach, Los Angeles, Detroit in the United States, Antwerp in the Netherlands, followed by Johor and Klang in Malaysia. <0#MPBSTX-LOC>. "It looks like a dual element of inventory financing shenanigans as well as some pretty strong pickup in Chinese demand," said a Sydney-based trader. Antwerp has become a prime location for financing deals in aluminium and zinc, he added. That location holds 71,100 tonnes of lead, or 22 percent of the total LME stockpile. Other metals also strengthened. LME zinc rose 2.4 percent to a three-month high of $2,113.5. LME tin climbed 1.7 percent to a two-week high of $23,800, after leading the metals complex in 2012 with a 22-percent rise. LME aluminium gained 1.8 percent to $2,107.25 a tonne, headed to its biggest one-day rise in more than three weeks.
Base metals prices at 0746 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 8111.75 182.75 +2.30 2.30 SHFE CU FUT APR3 57860 180 +0.31 0.31 HG COPPER MAR3 369.15 3.90 +1.07 1.07 LME Alum 2107.25 36.25 +1.75 1.75 SHFE AL FUT MAR3 15365 20 +0.13 0.13 LME Zinc 2113.50 50.00 +2.42 2.42 SHFE ZN FUT MAR3 15520 -25 -0.16 -0.16 LME Nickel 17525.00 370.00 +2.16 2.16 LME Lead 2374.00 34.00 +1.45 1.45 SHFE PB FUT 15265.00 15.00 +0.10 0.10 LME Tin 23800.00 400.00 +1.71 1.71 LME/Shanghai arb^ 1358
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)