Copper Extends Advance as Global Manufacturing Boosts Confidence

Copper advanced for a third day to the highest level in almost three weeks after manufacturing in China, the U.S. and Europe expanded, adding to signs of a revival in demand. Zinc, lead and aluminum also climbed.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 1.5 percent to $8,716 a metric ton, the highest price since Nov. 12, and traded at $8,715 a ton at 3:50 p.m. Singapore time. The contract has climbed 5.9 percent since Nov. 29 on better-than-expected economic reports, including jobs growth in the U.S.

“There’s been a slew of positive economic data around the world in the past few days and that has greatly boosted investor confidence,” Zeng Qianling, an analyst at Jinrui Futures Co., said from Shanghai.

March-delivery copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained for a fourth day, adding as much as 2.9 percent to 65,520 yuan ($9,835) a ton and ended the day at 65,380 yuan. Futures on the Comex in New York climbed as much as 0.8 percent to $3.9770 a pound, also the highest since Nov. 12.

Manufacturing in the U.S. grew for a 16th straight month in November, the Institute for Supply Management said yesterday. U.K. manufacturing growth unexpectedly accelerated to the fastest in 16 years in November, while output in the euro area expanded at the fastest pace in four months, separate reports showed. China’s output also grew at a faster pace for a fourth month in November.

Collahuasi Strike

Wage talks between union leaders and company representatives at Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc’s Collahuasi venture will extend into a fourth day in a bid to end a strike at the world’s third-biggest copper mine, a union leader said yesterday.

“The bottom line for copper is the supply side is really under pressure and so absent some significant decline in demand, prices must be supported,” Colin Whitehead, an analyst at Fat Prophets, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

The Collahuasi strike entered its 27th day yesterday, becoming the longest stoppage recorded at a major Chilean copper mine, surpassing the 26-day dispute at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Escondida in 2006.

“Copper, due to its uses across the construction industry, certainly leverages it to the global recovery story that we continue to see panning out next year,” Whitehead said.

Aluminum in London rose 1.6 percent to $2,378 a ton, zinc gained 3 percent to $2,224 a ton, and lead climbed 2.2 percent to $2,319.50 a ton. Nickel increased 0.4 percent to $23,640 a ton and tin advanced 1.4 percent to $25,150 a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Glenys Sim in Singapore at Gsim4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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