Aluminium is expected to outperform copper as base metals move toward the peaks of 2014, where we look for signs of a top, Barclays says in a note. LME 3-month copper ended down 0.1% at $7,181/ton on Wednesday, while aluminium finished 0.2% higher at $1,769/ton. While weak U.S. new home construction data for January, released overnight, could weigh on sentiment, investors will be waiting for cues from HSBC’s China PMI manufacturing data, due at 0145 GMT. China’s gauge of nationwide factory activity is closely followed by metals traders as an indicator of future metals demand. Upbeat trade date from China last week had boosted sentiment, but worries about liquidity capped gains in base metals.
By Arpan Mukherjee - Dow Jones