Aluminium touched an eight-week high in London as signs of a strengthening US economic recovery prompted some traders to buy industrial metals. Copper was little changed in New York.
An index of the six main metals traded on the London Metal Exchange added 4.9 percent this month, even as the Federal Reserve opted to start slowing US economic stimulus.
“Metals have shown strong bullish momentum recently due to the good US economic figures and the Fed’s confidence in the recovery,” said Richard Fu, director for Asian commodity trading at Newedge Group SA in London.
Aluminium for delivery in three months advanced 1 percent to $1,828 a metric ton on the LME by 7:26am on Monday New York time after reaching $1,839, the highest since November 4.
Prices increased 4.2 percent this month, narrowing the annual slide to 12 percent, the second-biggest drop after nickel among the main LME metals.
Manufacturing in the US continued to expand this month, a separate survey showed before data on January 2.
The nation ranked second globally after China among consumers of aluminium in 2012, according to researcher CRU.
“The market remains in a bullish stance, as the general outlook for 2014 looks mildly positive,” RBC Capital Markets LLC said in a report.
Copper for delivery in March was little changed at $3.3865 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices rose 5.7 percent in December, cutting the annual decline to 7.3 percent. Copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.1 percent to $7,388 a ton on the LME.
The stockpiles of the metal monitored by the LME, which are at the lowest since January, slid for a 39th session to 367,450 tons, daily data showed.
Orders to remove copper from warehouses fell for a 13th session, the longest run of declines since April 2012, to 243,275 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Lead, tin and nickel dropped in London. Zinc was little changed.