METALS-Copper edges higher as economic growth spurs demand hopes
* Copper on track to post first weekly fall since late July
* LME closed on Monday for a bank holiday
* Coming up: Euro zone consumer confidence at 1400 GMT
SINGAPORE/LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Copper edged up on Friday, as signs of a recovery in China's economy boosted hopes for demand and helped offset lingering concerns about an end to stimulus measures from the United States. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was at $7,355.50 a tonne at 0923 GMT, up from a close of $7,320 on Thursday. The metal used in power and construction is on track to post its first weekly fall since late July, and is trading more than 7 percent lower year to date. Helping support sentiment was data this week showing a rebound in Chinese manufacturing, as well as upbeat manufacturing data from the United States and better-than-expected economic growth in the euro zone.
"There has been much more focus (in the metals market) on the improvement in economic activity in China and to a lesser extent in Europe rather than focusing on tapering of quantitative easing which is seen as being factored in by the market," said Ross Strachan, economist at Capital Economics. Data showed domestic demand drove a broad-based upturn in Europe's largest economy Germany between April and June, contributing to the strongest quarterly expansion in more than a year and fuelling optimism the economy could outperform in 2013. Encouraging U.S. economic data, however, also raised concerns that a recovery in the economy would support the case for the Federal Reserve to begin reining in its stimulus measures sooner rather than later. Ultra-loose monetary policy adopted by central banks around the world in the last few years has drawn investors to commodities as an alternative to interest-bearing assets. Copper prices are set to draw support from demand from China which, according to Europe's biggest copper producer Aurubis, is expected to import more of the metal in coming months as the country's industrial production recovers and new infrastructure projects start. China accounts for 40 percent of global refined copper demand. "People have been getting a bit more optimistic on Chinese growth and demand. China's official PMIs are probably going to look strong as well," said analyst Sijin Cheng at Barclays in Singapore. China's official purchasing managers' index or PMI is due next week.
Metal Prices at 0921 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct
LME Alum 1890.50 6.50 +0.35 2073.00 -8.80 LME Cu 7358.25 38.25 +0.52 7931.00 -7.22 LME Lead 2218.00 9.00 +0.41 2330.00 -4.81 LME Nickel 14558.00 128.00 +0.89 17060.00 -14.67 LME Tin 21938.00 138.00 +0.63 23400.00 -6.25 LME Zinc 1980.00 6.00 +0.30 2080.00 -4.81 SHFE Alu 14450.00 30.00 +0.21 15435.00 -6.38 SHFE Cu* 52830.00 190.00 +0.36 57690.00 -8.42 SHFE Zin 15065.00 25.00 +0.17 15625.00 -3.58 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07