By Eric Onstad
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on Wednesday on strong data from factories in China, the main consumer of metals, and on hopes of an influx of new infrastructure spending from the United States.
* However, a stronger dollar and rising US bond yields held back gains on the metal.
* At 1121 GMT, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.68% at $ 8,833 a tonne. However, it has lost 2.8% this month and is on track for its first monthly decline since March 2020.
* “Today’s focus is on Biden’s infrastructure bill and the Chinese data is pretty positive too, so that’s providing some support,” said Xiao Fu, Bank’s head of commodity market strategy. of China International in London.
* “However, the strength of the dollar is capping to the upside and the options market indicates that this could last a bit longer,” he added.
* China’s manufacturing activity expanded in March at the fastest pace in three months due to higher factory output. In the United States, President Joe Biden will present an infrastructure package of approximately $ 2 trillion.
* A buoyant dollar, which hit a new one-year high against the yen and multi-month peaks against other currencies, weighed on the metals market. A strong dollar makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive and less attractive to holders of other currencies.
* LME copper prices have stalled in a range after falling from the nine-and-a-half-year high in late February at $ 9,617, and after adding 25% since the beginning of the year.
(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)