Copper Futures Head for Biggest Weekly Increase Since December
Copper futures headed for the biggest weekly gain since early December on optimism that global growth will sustain demand for industrial metals.
German exports rebounded in February as a strengthening world recovery boosted demand, the Federal Statistics Office said. Fewer Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance than forecast, a government report showed this week. Copper dropped 3.1 percent last quarter on concern the pace of economic expansion would slow.
“The market’s shrugged off the fears and taken off again,” said Andrew Silver, a trader at Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. in London.
Copper futures for May delivery gained 7.1 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $4.4875 a pound at 10:59 a.m. on the Comex in New York. A close at that level would leave the metal up 5.4 percent this week, the most since the week ended Dec. 3.
“Commodities are skyrocketing based on the weaker dollar,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, a senior strategist at Lind- Waldock, a broker in Chicago. “Buyers are coming back” amid concern that the Federal Reserve will trail other central banks in raising interest rates, he said.
The dollar dropped to the lowest since December 2009 against a six-currency basket, boosting the appeal of commodities as a hedge against inflation. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose to the highest since September 2008.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for three-month delivery climbed $185, or 1.9 percent, to $9,855 a metric ton ($4.47 a pound).
Also in London, tin gained $350, or 1.1 percent, to $32,900 a ton after reaching an all-time high of $33,000. Aluminum climbed $23, or 0.9 percent, to $2,695 a ton after reaching $2,714, the highest since Sept. 1, 2008. Lead, zinc and nickel rose.
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