NEW YORK - U.S. copper futures surged to prices unseen in 11-months after robust U.S. consumer spending data suggested demand for the metal might increase, then closed off that peak at still-lofty levels as many players squared their books at month's end, analysts said.
* Benchmark copper for December delivery HGZ9 settled 7.85 cents, or 2.73 percent, higher at $2.9505 a lb on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division.
* Range reached up to $2.9895, last seen on September 26, from a higher low at $2.8860 a lb.
* September futures HGU9 added 7.45 cents, up 2.62 percent, to close at $2.9230.
* COMEX estimated final copper volume at 31,859 lots, up from Thursday's official count of 30,261 lots.
* Open interest went up 1,099 lots to 119,566 contracts open as of Aug. 27.
* Copper pulled off early highs when August consumer sentiment data slipped below the July reading - traders.
* Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers' final August consumer sentiment fell to 65.7 from July's final reading of 66.0. [nNYS005362]
* Copper continued to hold onto multi-month highs despite pullbacks in U.S. equity markets [.N] - traders.
* Technical factors rolling Sept. into Dec. contracts and other month-end squaring took precedence - analysts.
* London markets will be closed Monday for a holiday and many participants sought to finish business for August on Friday - traders.
* Today it was all month-end business. We were very busy with month-end averaging, September averaging, unwinding September positions, and generally cleaning up books, said Mo Ahmadzadeh, president of Mitsui Bussan Commodities (USA) Inc. in New York.
* Most metals, along with oil prices, also settled strong amid optimism that the recession is ending. [O/R]
* Earlier, a healthy U.S. consumer spending series pushed copper up to highs last seen in late Sept. 2008 - traders.
* July U.S. consumer spending rose as forecast, lifted by the government's cash-for-clunkers program that fueled demand for autos. Story: [ID:nN28352972] Table: [ID:nCAT002825]
* The Commerce Department said spending rose 0.2 percent after increasing by a revised 0.6 percent in June, previously reported as a 0.4 percent gain. The headline number was in line with an average of analysts forecasts.
* It looks like we ended the quarter a little bit higher than we thought, and this is three straight months of increases in inflation-adjusted consumer spending. So, I think that puts us in pretty good stead for an upturn in consumer spending in the third quarter, said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.
* London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouse stocks climbed 1,375 tonnes to 298,925 tonnes on Friday. [LME/STX1]
* COMEX copper warehouse stocks rose 111 short tons to 52,981 short tons as of Thursday. [CMWSU]
* LME copper for three-months delivery MCU3 closed the Friday kerb at $6,475 a tonne from $6,275 a tonne at Thursday's close. Earlier, it hit an 11-month high at $6,549. (Reporting by Carole Vaporean; Editing by Christian Wiessner)