LONDON - Prices for aluminium rose on Friday as traders squared positions ahead of the end of the third quarter, daily data showed a decline in exchange stocks and the dollar weakened.
Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 2.7% at $2,339 a metric ton by 1251 GMT after hitting $2,347, its highest since May 3. It is up 8.6% so far this quarter.
"We have seen a lot of impressive moves today, but the rally, at least in aluminium and copper, is led by squaring of positions as it is the end of the week, the month and the quarter," said Dan Smith at Amalgamated Metal Trading.
"People are profit-taking; people who are short are buying back those positions. Some of these moves are short-term and are unlikely to extend to next week."
On-warrant aluminium stocks in LME-registered warehouses fell to 173,875 metric tons, their lowest since August 2022, after fresh cancellations of 51,000 metric tons in South Korea's Gwangyang. <0#MALSTX-LOC-GRD>
Cancelling warrants - title documents conferring ownership of metal - indicate the intention to remove metal from the LME system. The metal can be re-warranted.
The LME uses end-of-month data to calculate the share of Russian and other origins in available stocks.
The weakening U.S. currency index also made dollar-priced metals more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
U.S. consumer spending increased in August, but underlying inflation moderated, data showed.
Top metals consumer China started its week-long public holiday, but crucial datasets - China's September official manufacturing PMI and unofficial Caixin PMI - are due this weekend. Reuters poll expects the official PMI at 50.0 vs. 49.7 in August.
Positive signals are coming out of China as shipments to it and copper utilisation rates are picking up, Smith said: "I am definitely an optimist that China is turning around the corner."
LME copper rose 1.4% to $8,329.5 a ton, nickel added 0.4% to $18,955, lead fell 0.2% to $2,191 and zinc gained 0.9% to $2,645.
Tin fell 3.8% to $24,365 after hitting $24,100, the lowest since May 25, amid muted demand and, according to a trader, liquidation of a long position.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt in London; editing by Tasim Zahid)