Copper futures steadied on Monday as investors sifted manufacturing data from China for clues about future demand from the world’s top consumer of the industrial metal.
The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, was recently up 0.3%, at $3.0565 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copper traders were treated to two assessments of China’s factory activity over the weekend. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 50.8 in October from 51.1 in September, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which issues the data with the National Bureau of Statistics, said. This was lower than the median 51.1 forecast, the Wall Street Journal Reported.
Dropping 1.2% on the LME, the 3-month price of copper was the biggest mover on Friday, October 31, closing at $6,704 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper fell 1.0% to $6,785 per metric ton.
The cash price of primary Japanese copper increased 1.2% to JPY 781,000 ($7,173) per metric ton. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the price of US copper producer grade 122 dropped 1.0% to $3.78 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 1.0% to $3.78 per pound, after two days of improvement. Following a couple days of improvement, the price of US copper producer grade 102 weakened by 1.0%. Prices closed at $3.97 per pound.
Chinese copper closed mixed last Friday. The price of Chinese copper bar changed direction with a 0.2% drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at CNY 49,190 ($8,009) per metric ton. Following two days of rising prices, the Chinese copper cash price dropped 0.2% to CNY 49,390 ($8,042) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire saw little movement at CNY 50,395 ($8,205) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,213) per metric ton.