(MB) Base metals prices traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly up during Asian morning trading on Friday February 22, with only copper and tin weakening.The base metals continue to benefit from lingering optimism over progress made in the trade talks between China and the United States, but a string of weak manufacturing data released on Thursday caused copper’s recent run of strength to come to an end.The SHFE’s most-traded April copper contract stood at 49,620 yuan ($7,332) per tonne as at 10.45am Shanghai time, down by 0.1% or 50 yuan per tonne from  Thursday’s close.

“Copper prices fell… after disappointing factory data in the US and Europe. German manufacturing suffered its steepest decline in export orders in more than six years in February,” Daniel Been, head of foreign exchange research at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), said in a morning note.

In European data released on Thursday, the European Union’s flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) hit its lowest level in almost six years in February with a reading of 49.2 – below the crucial 50 level that separates expansion in activity from a contraction and down from a previous reading of 50.2

“However, sentiment in the sector remained positive, with further progress in trade talks helping push most other metals higher,” ANZ’s Been added.

This lingering optimism over trade was sufficient to boost the rest of the SHFE base metals, barring tin, higher on Friday morning. Tin bucked the firmer tone with its most-traded May contract sliding 0.4%.


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