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Copper hits one-month high ahead of key China data

Kitco News

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Copper prices climbed on Monday to one-month highs as a softer dollar and China's commitment to boost imports spurred fund buying ahead of key Chinese economic data.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.9% at $8,246 a metric ton at 1704 GMT after touching its highest since Oct. 2 at $8,260.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang told a trade fair in Shanghai on Sunday that the country would open up its economy and that its imports of goods and services would reach a cumulative $17 trillion within the next five years.

"China comments over the weekend are supporting sentiment, as is the dollar after last week's jobs data from the United States," one metals trader said.

The dollar tumbled after a soft U.S. monthly jobs report reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates steady at its December meeting.

A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies, which could boost demand for industrial metals. Data on China's exports, imports, consumer price inflation and total social financing will be closely watched over the next few days for clues to demand prospects for industrial metals.

However, a lack of concern about copper supplies can be seen in the discount for cash copper over the three-month contract at $80 a ton, its highest for more than 30 years. Traders said a break of the 50-day moving average around $8,180 created upside momentum and that the next barrier was around $8,307, the 100-day moving average.

Elsewhere, aluminium touched a one-month high at $2,295 a ton, partly owing to low stocks in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange and sliding inventories in LME-approved warehouses.

Also behind aluminium's gains were output cuts in China's Yunnan province because of power curbs related to water shortages.

Three-month aluminium was up 1.4% at $2,285 a ton, zinc gained 1.5% to $2,563, lead added 0.4% to $2,181, tin advanced 1.4% to $24,700 and nickel rose 1.2% to $18,445.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)
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