At the PM kerb close on Wednesday, LME three-month copper was up just 0.1 per cent at $US7,870 a metric ton. Tin held up the best of the complex, ending the session 0.8 per cent higher at $US23,475/ton.
US data were mixed Wednesday, with durable goods orders falling 5.2 per cent in January from December, driven by a sharp drop in defence and civilian aircraft spending.
Non-defence capital goods orders excluding aircraft -- a key measure of business investment -- rose 6.3 per cent, however, the best increase in more than a year.
Separately, pending US home sales rose 4.5 per cent in January from the previous month, to the highest level since April 2010, better than expectations for a two per cent rise.
"US durable goods orders were mixed," said Standard Bank analyst Leon Westgate.
"Overall the market has paid little attention to the data however, while other short term drivers such as the euro have also had little impact today."
At 1725 GMT (0425 Thursday AEDT) the euro was up 0.3 per cent versus the dollar at $US1.31026.
Since base metals are priced in US dollars, they become more affordable to other currency holders when the greenback softens.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was back in the spotlight, appearing before the House Financial Services Committee late in the LME trading session for his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill.
Bernanke said there are early signs that the Fed's stimulus policies are helping the economy, and said the Fed might review its exit strategy from easy-money policies "some time soon".
Under a strategy laid out in June 2011, the Fed said that someday it would gradually sell down its mortgage-backed securities.
In his testimonyon Wednesday, however, Bernanke said the Fed might complete this process more slowly than planned, or even avoid selling the securities altogether and instead let them gradually wind down as they mature.
The Fed's loose monetary policy has provided strong support for metals prices over the past few years.
"Trading was cautious as the market awaited 'Bernanke - The Testimony Part 2'," said brokerage firm Sucden Financial.
"Trading volume was low to moderate through the London day and prices remained range bound and business was sluggish."
Prices in dollar a metric ton.
3 Months Metal Bid-Ask Change from
Tuesday PM kerb
Copper 7870.0-7871.0 Up 11.5
Lead 2304.0-2305.0 Up 7
Zinc 2078.0-2080.0 Dn 20.5
Aluminum 2020.0-2021.0 Dn 3
Nickel 16725.0-16750.0 Up 80
Tin 23475.0-23480.0 Up 180
Aluminum Alloy 1860.0-1880.0 Dn 20
Aluminum Alloy-NASAAC 1875.0-1880.0 Up 15