"Some smelters in southern China have seen notable losses because of government regulations to curb pollution," ANZ Research said.
"Demand for copper will benefit from a rise in auto sales in China. China's retail car sales for November reached 1.85 million units, a drop of 12.5% year-on-year. However, this was up 6.2% from October. More importantly, new-energy vehicles jumped 18% month-on-month, raising hopes that demand for nickel and copper will pick up."
Gold in New York was slightly weaker at $1783.90 an ounce.