Copper pushes higher

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    LONDON- Copper clawed higher after upbeat Chinese manufacturing and US jobs data, but uncertainty about global growth and trade tensions will likely weigh on the market, analysts said.

    China’s factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in well over two years in October, as new export orders rose and plants ramped up production, a private business survey showed.

    The results stand in contrast to an official survey published on Thursday, which showed China’s factory activity shrank for the sixth straight month in October.

    “The PMIs in China have been oscillating between expansion and contraction for the last couple of months,” said Geordie Wilkes, head of research at Sucden Financial, referring to purchasing managers’ data.

    “Even though we had that data from China, there was quite a lot of negative news yesterday,” Wilkes added. “We’re still in the camp that sees prices edging lower and I think we’ll probably push back to $5,700 in the near term.

    “The indicators are still on the softer side and there’s a lot of continued uncertainty.”

    On the positive side, the US Treasury Secretary said the United States and China were working to conclude a trade deal while US job growth slowed less than expected in October.

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.9 percent in final open-outcry trading to $5,850 a ton. – Reuters