NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Base metals continue to trade in the green despite unfavorable economic data releases on Monday. Metals are taking their cues Tuesday from Asia, particularly China where there are reports the Chinese government may relax its policy-tightening measures. Furthermore, the government plans to allow overseas investors to trade derivatives contracts, encouraging foreign capital into the equity market.


Copper for delivery within three months was trading 1.2% higher at $6,582 in the early hours of trading Tuesday on the London Metal Exchange. Copper inventories maintained by LME declined for the 22nd consecutive day equivalent to the year's longest period of declines. Inventory levels shed 3,575 tonnes to close at 422,850 tonnes Monday.

Major copper producers in the world are trading very close to their resistance levels. Southern Copper ( SCCO), which closed at $29.27 in the previous trading session, has support at $29.03, while resistance lies at $29.58. Meanwhile, Teck Resources ( TCK) closed at $31.32 with support and resistance at $30.79 and $31.99, respectively.


Aluminum for delivery within three months gained 0.5% to $1,982 per ton Tuesday. On Monday, LME inventories dropped 6,325 tonnes to close at a 52-week low of 4.37 million tonnes.

According to a Reuters report, aluminum consumption in cars has a huge potential for growth in Europe as carmakers would prefer to opt for the lighter metal in order to cut fuel costs and emissions. Mark White, chief technical specialist at Jaguar Land Rover, said that currently the European car market consumes 130,000 tonnes of aluminum sheet which is foreseen to double or triple in the next five to 10 years.

Meanwhile, Indian aluminum maker Hindalco Industries recently revealed that China would use 18% (16.4 million tonnes) more aluminum in 2010 while the world consumption, excluding China, would be around 22.6 million tonnes.

Alcoa ( AA) ended trading at $10.58 Monday, close to its resistance of $10.74 after which it is technically seen to be crossing $10.89. Its support lies at $10.37. Century Aluminum ( CENX) closed at $9.09 with support and resistance at $8.88 and $9.25, respectively. Kaiser Aluminum ( KALU) closed at $38.13 with support at $37.52 and resistance at $38.46.


Nickel for delivery within three months accumulated 1.1% to $19,000 per ton in the early hours of trading on LME. Nickel inventories maintained by LME shed 534 tonnes to settle at 118,536 tonnes Monday.


Zinc for delivery within three months increased 2.1% to $1,846.50 Tuesday, led by major arbitrage buying in the metal with huge volumes. Zinc stockpiles reduced by 225 tonnes to close at 617,500 tonnes.

According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, global refined zinc output increased by 13.9% during January to May 2010, leaving a supply overhang of 209,000 tonnes. The increase was primarily driven by Australia, China, India and Namibia. During the same period, world demand for the metal surged 21.3%.


Lead added 1.2% to $1,796 per ton in the early hours of trading on the LME. At the end of trading on Monday, lead inventories fell by 200 tonnes to 186,775 tonnes.

According to data released by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, global lead mine production during January to May period increased by 11.7% due to higher production in Australia, China, India and Mexico.
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