Copper rose in the last session of 2011, but sharp losses from earlier in the year caused the base metal its first annual decline in three years.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed 2.4 per cent to close Friday's session at $7,600 a tonne.
In New York, US copper's most-actively traded contract, March, settled up two per cent on the day at $3.4360 per pound.
For 2011, though, both LME and US copper showed a 21 per cent drop due to losses from earlier in the year when the metal was sold down on fears related to the European debt crisis and an economic slowdown in China.
Last year's decline was a stark contrast with the previous two years when copper rallied back from losses sustained during the 2008 financial crisis.
The metal gained 140 per cent in 2009 and 30 per cent in 2010.
Since hitting all-time highs of nearly $10,200 a tonne in February, copper has lost about a quarter of its value.
"The single major factor behind this is the unfolding of the euro zone crisis, which had some direct and indirect impacts on metals," said BNP Paribas analyst Stephen Briggs.