- However, US Senate leader Mitch McConnell's rejection to schedule a swift vote on whether to raise the country's coronavirus relief checks to $2,000 from $600 dampened sentiment.
HANOI: Copper prices fell on Thursday as hopes for more US stimulus checks dimmed, but the metal is set to be the best performer on the London Metal Exchange this year as the world's economies rebounded from COVID-19 pandemic slumps.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4% to $7,818 a tonne by 0305 GMT, but was rising 26.6% year-to-date on a rebound in the global economy lead by China, weak dollar, tight supply and hopes for more global stimulus.
Factory activity in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, expanded in December as hot export demand fueled a recovery in the economy from a coronavirus slump, data on Thursday showed.
However, US Senate leader Mitch McConnell's rejection to schedule a swift vote on whether to raise the country's coronavirus relief checks to $2,000 from $600 dampened sentiment.
The most-traded copper February contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7% to 57,910 yuan ($8,870.34) a tonne. It has risen 16.6% so far this year, the third best performer on ShFE following aluminium with a 22.4% increase and zinc which has gained 18.4%.
Lead was set to be the worst performer on both exchanges, up 3.1% so far this year on the LME and up 3.5% on ShFE , as ample supply and subdued demand for lead batteries amid a shift towards greener alternatives.