LONDON: Copper prices rose on Monday, heading back towards the seven-month highs seen last week on improving prospects for demand in top consumer China, low inventories and a weaker dollar.
However, traders said activity was subdued due to the Chinese Lunar new year holiday.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.3% at $9,349 a tonne at 1706 GMT. Prices of the metal used in the power and construction industries rose to $9,550.50 last week, the highest since June 6.
"Copper is up over 12% this year on positive sentiment surrounding China's re-opening narrative, physical stockpile shortages and a weaker dollar," said Giles Coghlan, an analyst at broker HYCM.
"None of these look like changing much in the near term, but it's a big week for U.S. earnings. If markets start to price in a greater chance of a U.S. recession, that could weigh on sentiment which could in turn impact copper's near term prices."
Companies accounting for more than half the S&P 500's market value are reporting over the next two weeks. Microsoft results are due on Tuesday, followed by Elon Musk's Tesla on Wednesday, while Apple and Google parent Alphabet report next week.
Also on the agenda this week is a spate of U.S. data on growth, manufacturing and price pressures, which may yield clues to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy intentions.
Worries about supplies from Peru due to social unrest are also helping to support copper prices.
Demand for industrial metals overall is expected to pick up soon after the Chinese holiday as companies restock ahead of a pick-up in manufacturing activity.
A lower U.S. currency makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies, which could subdue demand.
Traders are watching copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses , which at 78,300 tonnes are heading towards 10-month lows hit last November.
Cancelled warrants - metal earmarked for delivery - at 37% of the total suggest more copper is due to leave LME warrant.
In other metals, aluminium climbed 1% to $2,637, zinc gained 0.2% to $3,427, lead slipped 1.7% to $2,053, tin was down 0.1% to $29,505 and nickel fell 2.2% to $28,140. (Reporting by Pratima Desai; additional reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by Jan Harvey and Chizu Nomiyama)