Copper futures have closed slightly higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME) as investors remain largely unfazed by Crimea’s vote to secede from Ukraine.
At the PM kerb close on Monday, LME three-month copper was up 0.1 per cent at $US6,479 a metric ton.
Crimea’s parliament said the region would formally seek Russia’s permission to rejoin the country as a republic, after more than 95 per cent of Crimeans on Sunday voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
The outcome of the vote had been widely anticipated by markets and investors and, as such, growth-related assets such as equities and base metals gained ground, unrattled.
The White House announced sanctions against seven Russian officials, two Crimea-based separatist leaders and former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych and his presidential chief of staff in response to the referendum.
The European Union earlier adopted sanctions against 13 Russian officials and eight Crimean officials, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
“It seems that the markets have taken the Crimean referendum in their stride, as the outcome was pretty much as expected. Moreover, the fact that there has been no violence has helped various markets stabilise as well,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
Some stronger-than-expected US economic data also lent some support to copper prices on Monday.
An index of manufacturing conditions in the New York region showed modest improvement in March, industrial production climbed in February at the fastest monthly growth rate since August, and a gauge of confidence among home builders ticked up in March.
Base metals are used widely in construction and manufacturing, making their prices sensitive to signs of economic growth.