Copper traded little changed after the biggest weekly advance in more than a month as investors weighed rising inventories in China and a jump in orders to move the metal out of London Metal Exchange warehouses.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 0.2 percent to $8,104 a metric ton, before trading at $8,080 at 1:56 p.m. in Shanghai. Futures rose 2.5 percent last week, the most since the week ended Nov. 30. The contract for delivery in April fell 0.2 percent to 58,250 yuan ($9,351) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
SHFE copper inventories added 1,685 tons to 206,458 tons last week, the highest level in eight months, data based on 14 warehouses in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces showed. Orders to withdraw the metal from LME warehouses, or canceled warrants, jumped 43 percent to 71,575 tons on Jan. 4, the highest since May 4.
“The data indicated last year’s trend of a drop in LME stockpiles and a gain in China stockpiles continues,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures Co. “Copper is likely to trade in a narrow range around $8,000.”
Futures on the Comex in New York fell 0.3 percent to $3.6815 a pound. Net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, held by funds rose to 15,924 futures and options contracts as of Jan. 1 from 14,988 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. On the LME, aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin gained.