Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have closed lower as pressure from some downbeat US economic data and a stronger greenback outweighs support from some more upbeat figures.
At the close of open-outcry trading on Thursday, LME three-month copper was down 0.1 per cent on the day, at $US7,114 a metric ton.
Aluminium fell 1.6 per cent to $US1,987 a ton, while nickel prices fell the most, closing down 2.4 per cent at $US18,500 a ton.
"From the US, the Chicago Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 52.6 in July from 62.6 in June and weekly jobless claims rose 23,000, which was in line with forecasts, and despite the uptick, overall claims remain low," noted Liz Grant, a senior account executive at broker Sucden Financial.
Both readings dampened hopes for improving base metal demand in the US, which was boosted on Wednesday by a strong second-quarter US growth figure.
"US stock markets were lower following the Fed's announcement that it will continue to reduce monthly bond purchases," she added.
The bond purchases had supported demand for industrial metals in 2013 as a form of economic stimulus.
Investors will keep a close eye on manufacturing data from China, due out Thursday evening (US time). Friday, the US is set to report July employment numbers, believed by many investors to offer the most accurate snapshot of how the country's recovery is progressing.