Zinc climbed for the first time in seven days on speculation that this week’s price drop to a five-week low may stoke buying interest, while copper was little changed ahead of China factory output data.
Zinc for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange added as much as 1.1 percent to $2,008.50 a metric ton and was at $2,008 by 11:16 a.m. in Tokyo. The price reached $1,982 yesterday, the lowest intraday level since Feb. 6. The metal has declined 2.3 percent this year.
China’s factory output probably rose 9.5 percent in the January-February period from a year earlier, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Output expanded 9.7 percent in December from a year earlier. South Korea bought 2,000 tons of zinc in a tender yesterday.
“Zinc is holding well above $2,000 and there’s buying interest below that level,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. “The market is waiting for today’s China data for direction, especially in copper after the recent selloff.”
Copper in London traded at $6,507.75 a ton. The price touched $6,376.25 yesterday, the lowest intraday level since July 2010. The metal is down 12 percent this year, the worst performer among the six major base metals traded on the LME, as an unexpected drop in China’s exports at the weekend fueled concern that China’s growth is slowing.
The metal for June delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2 percent to 44,600 yuan ($7,267) a ton. Trading volume was 476 percent more than the average for the past 100 days for this time of the day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The contract for delivery in May on the Comex in New York was little changed at $2.9575 a pound.
On the LME, aluminum, nickel and lead also climbed. Tin hadn’t traded.