By Georgi Kantchev

LONDON--Copper prices kicked off the week higher in London, as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted commodity prices.

A pledge by China's president to support a free-trade area in the Asia-Pacific also boosted optimism about Chinese demand.

The three-month London Metal Exchange copper contract was up 2.4% at $5,565 a metric ton. Other base metals were also trending higher.

"There is generally higher risk appetite among market participants on the commodities markets this morning," as the dollar weakened, analysts at Commerzbank said in a report. Oil prices were also up, with Brent up 1.9% at $47.73 a barrel.

The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, fell 0.3%. As copper is priced in dollars, it becomes more attractive for holders of other currencies as the dollar declines.

The gains extended the multiweek rally in the industrial metal, which picked up steam after Donald Trump won the U.S. election. Mr. Trump's victory stoked hopes that he would unleash billions of dollars in infrastructure spending, which could lift demand for metals used for building and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, hopes of freer trade flows and the prospect of more imports by China, the world's largest consumer of metals, also buoyed investor sentiment.

In a speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Lima, Peru, on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his government would support a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and was pushing forward with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade pact that includes 16 countries.

Among other base metals, aluminum was up 1% at $1,712.50 a metric ton, zinc was up 0.7% at $2,578, lead was up 2.1% at $2,181, tin was up 1.8% at $20,555 and nickel was up 2.2% at $11,165 a metric ton.

Biman Mukherji contributed to this article.

Write to Georgi Kantchev at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2016 06:17 ET (11:17 GMT)

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