Copper heads for biggest weekly gain in four on Chinese growth

Copper ignited by China growth

Copper rose in New York, heading for the biggest weekly gain in four, after stronger Chinese economic growth bolstered the outlook for demand in the world’s largest consumer of the metal.

Third-quarter gross domestic product expanded 7.8% from a year earlier, China’s statistics bureau said today, compared with 7.5% in the prior period. The increase was the first in three quarters. Copper also rose as the dollar weakened against the euro for a fifth session in six.

“The good China GDP figure supported the metals market so far today,” Richard Fu, director for Asian commodity trading at Newedge Group SA in London, said in a note.

Copper for delivery in December added 0.4% to $3.3105 a pound by 7:42 a.m. on the Comex in New York, for a 1.3% weekly advance. Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.5% to $7,265 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

“The dollar moving much lower” helped to lift prices, Vicky Sanders, head of analytics sales at Marex Spectron Group in London, said by phone. While growth sped up in China, “we are not off to the races,” she said, pointing to industrial production that slowed last month to a 10.2% increase from 10.4% in August.

Declines by the dollar against the euro mean commodities priced in greenbacks cost less in terms of the single currency.

Copper gained this week even amid signs that supply is ample. Anglo American Plc said today its third-quarter output of the metal jumped 32% from a year earlier, three days after Rio Tinto Group reported a 23% gain in its production of mined copper.

Inventories of the metal tracked by the LME fell for a 32nd session to 497,500 tons, daily exchange data showed, sliding below 500,000 tons for the first time since March 7. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange swelled to 172,109 tons this week, the highest since July 4.

Orders to remove copper from LME warehouses fell 0.8% to 249,750 tons.

Zinc for delivery in three months rose 0.6% to $1,944 a ton in London, exceeding the 200-day moving average at about $1,936. Aluminum, nickel, tin and lead advanced.

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