Copper climbs, lead soars

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    LONDON- Copper prices rose on Friday after positive Chinese data on property and infrastructure growth, while zinc and lead hit multi-month highs as investors worried about shortages.

    Industrial metals prices were volatile after China’s economic growth slowed slightly more than expected to 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the weakest pace in almost three decades.

    Prices headed higher, though, as investors digested the data, which also showed China’s property investment grew 10.5 percent in the first nine months of 2019, infrastructure investment rose 4.5 percent and industrial output outpaced forecasts at 5.8 percent in September.

    “There was a slight re-acceleration in property new starts growth, which is quite an important signal given a lot of pessimism about the Chinese property sector,” said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in London.

    “There was also a slight pickup in infrastructure investment growth, so the two key drivers of on-shore metals demand were slightly on the positive side, but they’re nothing to get too carried away about.”

    A Singapore-based metals trader said China was likely to roll out further stimulus measures in sectors such as real estate and infrastructure to boost growth in the fourth quarter.

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) gained 1.2 percent to $5,806 a ton in final open-outcry trading after edging up 0.2 percent a day earlier. – Reuters