Activity in China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in nearly 5 years in March, adding to evidence that the world's second-largest economy has gained momentum early this year. Long-term core numbers like these, especially in China, will underpin the global economy, and in turn could start to trigger the much-talked-about infrastructure projects, and thus, physical metals buying. Investors were jittery about the possibility President Donald Trump's healthcare bill might not pass, suggesting he may struggle to muster the backing needed to push through fiscal measures central to the U.S. government's economic agenda. Trump's election was seen as good for markets, but he is now being seen as potentially less effective than people were thinking. Commodity markets have soared since November on expectations Trump will increase spending on infrastructure. The dollar and U.S. long-dated Treasury yields sharp dropped with with worries easing over President Donald Trump's ability to push through economic reform.
The strike at Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, is ending after workers decided to invoke a rarely used legal provision that allows them to extend their old contract. Workers returnned to work at the world's biggest copper mine in Chile after a strike that began on Feb. 9 China called on the United States to play its part in resolving trade frictions between the two countries, and said Beijing isn't devaluing its currency to boost exports as tensions simmered ahead of President Xi Jinping's first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The United States is targeting a reduction in China's $347 billion goods trade surplus through tougher enforcement of trade laws and anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties. China's 2017 export outlook brightened considerably as it reported forecast-beating trade growth in March and as U.S. President Donald Trump softened his antiChina rhetoric in an abrupt policy shift. A U.S. Navy strike group will move towards the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea's advancing weapons programme. Increasing tensions, plus a U.S. jobs report that showed the labour market was still healthy pushed the dollar to three-week highs against a basket of currencies, eroding the purchasing power of commodity buyers paying with other currencies. Shares and the dollar fell on April 18 as a snap general election call in Britain added to a lengthening list of uncertainties for investors already on edge over North Korea and a tight presidential race in France. The LME were closed on April 14-17 for the Easter break. The copper resumed its firmer trend after reopening following Easter break.London copper eased as rising geopolitical tensions blunted appetite for risk . Copper, hit three-month lows on April 23 to its weakest since early January at $5,530 a tonne as geopolitical worries from sabre-rattling over North Korea to a snap UK general election hurt investor appetite for cyclical assets such as base metals. Chinese refined copper output in March rose 8.5 percent from a year ago to 764,000 tonnes, the highest since at least December 2015, official data showed. After this data, London copper rose but was mired near its lowest for the year after China's refined production surged in March, underlining ample stocks in the world's biggest metals consumer.