Feb 15 (Reuters) - Benchmark copper leapt to its highest
level in more than eight years on Monday, building on last
week's solid gains driven by expectations of stronger demand and
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had
risen 0.8% to $8,398 a tonne by 0604 GMT, after earlier touching
$8,406, its highest since September 2012.
However, light trading is likely to persist with markets in
China, the world's biggest metals consumer, closed for the Lunar
New Year holiday until Feb. 17.
"With environmental policies accelerating the use of copper,
we see the market remaining tight this year," said Daniel Hynes,
senior commodity strategist at ANZ, citing rising investments in
renewable energy and electronic vehicles.
ANZ has set a 12-month target price of $9,000 a tonne for
the metal often used as a gauge of global economic health.
China's copper inventories have dropped to near-decade lows
at a time when demand is supposed to be tepid because of the
Other industrial metals also rose, further boosted by hopes
of a massive U.S. coronavirus relief plan under the Biden
"Such an aggressive stimulus may become more widespread with
Treasury Secretary (Janet) Yellen urging G7 countries to 'go
big' on fiscal support on Friday," said National Australia Bank
economist Tapas Strickland.
* Nickel rose as much as 1.2% to $18,785 a tonne,
its loftiest since September 2019, on strong demand outlook for
a key material in producing electronic vehicle batteries.
"Even as battery makers around the world look to invest in
new capacity, mainland China will still be the largest producer
of EV batteries by 2030, accounting for around two-thirds of
total base case global manufacturing," said Wood Mackenzie Asia
Pacific Vice Chair Gavin Thompson.
* Tin advanced 0.6% to $23,795 a tonne, zinc
gained 0.1% to $2,837 a tonne, lead rose 0.4% to $2,126
a tonne, aluminium added 0.1% to $2,092.50 a tonne.
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Devika
Syamnath and Krishna Chandra Eluri)