FILE PHOTO – A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd’s copper plant in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu, March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on Monday on concerns that supply will be tight after a court ruling cast doubt on the future of a smelter in India and a large mine in Indonesia said its export permit had expired.

Better than expected Chinese lending data on Friday, meanwhile, suggested that demand from the world’s biggest consumer of metals will remain strong.

Benchmark copper did not trade but was bid up 0.8 percent at $6,235 a tonne in official rings, near a two-month high of $6,289.50 reached on Feb. 7.

Copper stockpiles available to the market in LME-registered warehouses are near 13-year lows and LME time spreads have tightened rapidly, suggesting a shortage of nearby metal.

But there is little sign of a serious supply shortfall, Deutsche Bank analyst Nick Snowdon said, adding that the outlook for U.S.-China trade negotiations and global economic growth remained the most important driver of copper prices.

Copper fell to a 1-1/2 year low of $5,725 in January.

Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by David Goodman


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