Copper prices rose overnight amid signs that US-China trade talks in Washington DC could de-escalate a dispute that has weighed on economic growth and metals prices.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended up 1.7 per cent at $US5,781 a tonne.
It fell to $US5,518, its lowest in more than two years, on September 3.
“There’s a lot of volatility in industrial metals markets linked to the tos and fros of the trade negotiations,” said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah.
But he said a supply deficit that is likely to worsen in the coming years will probably support prices even if growth in demand for copper weakens.
The top US and Chinese trade negotiators were set to meet on Thursday for the first time since late July.
US President Donald Trump is also due to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Friday.
Liu said China was willing to reach agreement on matters that both sides care about to prevent further escalation of the dispute, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Earlier, Bloomberg reported that the US was weighing a currency pact with China as part of a partial deal that could include a suspension of planned tariff increases.
Sources told Reuters, however, that Beijing officials had lowered expectations for significant progress in the talks after the US blacklisted Chinese companies and suspended US visas for some Chinese officials.
The US dollar weakened, making metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies and supporting demand.
Operations at Las Bambas, one of Peru’s largest copper mines, are being affected by anti-mining protests that have blocked roads and disrupted supplies since September 22.
Benchmark zinc closed up 4.2 per cent at $US2,388 a tonne after hitting a three-year low of $US2,190 on September 3.
Stockpiles in LME-registered warehouses are near record lows and a rising premium of cash zinc to three-month metal points to supply shortages in the near term.
Adding to fears of temporary tightness, Vedanta Resources said it would shut its Skorpion zinc operations in Namibia from early November until the end of February 2020.
However, increasing supply will keep prices around $US2,300 through 2020 and 2021, S&P Global Ratings said in a report.
Nickel finished up 1.5 per cent at $US17,625 a tonne after headline stocks in LME-registered warehouses fell to 102,696 tonnes, the lowest since April 2012.
Prices reached $US18,850 on September 2, the highest since 2014, after top producer Indonesia said it would ban ore exports from next year.
LME lead closed 1.3 per cent higher at $US2,158, aluminium ended up 0.5 per cent at $US1,753 and tin finished flat at $US16,450.