Base metals rise on trade optimism

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    SINGAPORE- Prices of industrial metals mostly increased on Monday, as some positive signals from Washington rekindled optimism that the United States and China could soon sign a trade deal.

    A senior US official over the weekend said an initial trade agreement is still possible by the end of the year, after Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump both underscored their desire on Friday to sign a deal.

    The prolonged trade war between the world’s leading economies have been weighing on base metals, so a resolution to the trade conflict is expected to boost prices.

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.3 percent at $5,869.50 a ton, extending gains from the previous session, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced 0.5 percent to 47,110 yuan ($6,692.81) a ton.

    Prices were also supported by solid data from the United States, where manufacturing output accelerated in November to its fastest pace in seven months and services activity picked up more than expected.

    However, prices were capped from strong gains as uncertainty over the full resolution to the trade conflict remains. – Reuters