Copper rose to near a four-month high as signs of a recovery from China to the U.S., the world’s biggest consumers of the metal, strengthen the outlook for demand for industrial metals. Aluminum also advanced.
Copper for three-month delivery gained as much as 0.6 percent to $8,322 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $8,308.75 at 11:28 a.m. in Seoul. The price touched $8,346 on Feb. 4, the highest level since Oct. 5. Futures for delivery in May rose 0.4 percent to 59,990 yuan ($9,625) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
China’s services industries expanded at the fastest pace in four months in January, adding to signs that growth will accelerate for a second quarter after an almost-two-year slowdown. A manufacturing purchasing managers’ index released Feb. 1 showed a fourth month of expansion. In the U.S., home prices climbed the most in six years in November and service industries sustained gain in January.
“U.S. home prices have increased and then China’s manufacturing showed an improvement,” Park Jong Beom, a senior trader at Seoul-based Tong Yang Securities Inc., said by phone today. “Copper is rising along with other commodities, being supported by those improving macro indicators.”
Copper, used in wires and pipes, has gained 4.8 percent this year, and the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 4.8 percent. China’s economy expanded 7.9 percent in the final three months of 2012 from a year earlier, reversing a seven-quarter deceleration. The nation consumes 42 percent of the world’s copper, Barclays Plc estimates.
The metal for delivery in March increased 0.2 percent to $3.7765 a pound on the Comex in New York. On the LME, nickel, lead and tin were little changed.