Copper rose Tuesday, absorbing another monetary policy tightening move in China, as economic data from the world's top consumer of the metal eased global growth concerns and boosted risk appetite.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was untraded in official rings but bid at $9,015 (Dh33,085) a tonne from Monday's close of $8,910.
China's inflation accelerated to 5.5 per cent in May, but was in line with expectations. Industrial output, with a rise of 13.3 per cent, was also in line with forecasts. Beijing increased the reserve requirement ratio for its commercial lenders by another 50 basis points, hours after the data, its sixth increase this year.
Drop in output
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"The impact of the reserve requirement ratio rise was limited. I think more market players are looking at the economic data itself, which came in line," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "(The data) is being interpreted as quite good ... But nevertheless there is still the need to take on more measures to fight inflation."
China is the world's top copper consumer. Other data showed its refined copper output dropped 3.3 per cent on the month in May after falling 3.4 per cent in April, due to reduced supply of scrap and the country's power shortages.
The euro gained versus the dollar. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for holders of other currencies. Investors will also watch out for US data due later in the day, including retail and auto sales, and producer prices, which the market will scour for clues to the magnitude and duration of the slowdown in the world's largest economy.
Economists polled by Reuters do not believe that the United States will slide back into recession and expect activity to pick up in the second half of the year.
Also lending support to copper prices was a three-week contractor strike at the world's No 5 copper mine, Chile's El Teniente, which Codelco's chief executive said will hit future output as fresh violence raised the spectre of a prolonged disruption.
Copper inventories at LME warehouses fell further away from one-year highs, down by 2,075 tonnes to 473,675 tonnes.
Aluminium traded at $2,607 from $2,590 a tonne.
China's production of nickel, primary aluminium and its raw material alumina hit records in May on increased capacity that could see aluminium output rise further in June.
Norsk Hydro's chief financial officer said that financing deals were helping to drive aluminium prices but they still had performed poorly compared with other base metals.
Tin traded at $25,380 in rings from $24,795 a tonne, having hit its lowest since December at $24,510.
"The run in tin prices earlier this year to a series of record highs led to an increase in exports from Indonesia and China and consumer destocking," Standard Bank said in a note.
"The result has been a steady rise in LME stocks which has weighed on both sentiment and prices, and has led to investors to liquidate long positions."