Base metal prices rally, but industry players question whether it will last

Dec 01, 2009 | 12:29 PM | Anne Riley

Base metals jolted back to life in Tuesday trading on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar and a slew of positive economic data, but some market insiders said a year-end correction might still be in store for the industrial metals complex.

Zinc and copper led the rally on the London Metal Exchange, with three-month zinc clambering 3.7 percent higher vs. Monday to end second-ring trade at $2,335 per tonne, and copper rising 2.7 percent to a 14-month high of $7,016 a tonne.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, March-delivery copper closed at $3.231 per pound, up 1.7 percent from a $3.177 day earlier.

Aluminum and lead also registered gains in London, with the light metal surging 2.2 percent in the same comparison to close second-ring trade at $2,080.50 per tonne, basis three months, and the heavy metal increasing 2.4 percent to $2,372 per tonne. The rest of the complex posted more modest gains on Tuesday, with nickel inching up an average of 1.5 percent from Monday to $16,300/$16,325 per tonne (bid/ask) and tin climbing 1.3 percent to $14,960 per tonne.....

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