Copper Rises for Second Day in New York on Signs Demand to Climb

Copper in New York rose for a second straight day as climbing U.S. consumer sentiment and Europe’s moves to stem its debt crisis boosted growth prospects.

Consumer confidence in the U.S., the world’s largest copper user after China, gained this month by the most since April 2003, a private report showed. European finance ministers meet today to discuss using their bailout fund to insure sovereign debt with guarantees. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) advanced to a one-week high, and the dollar (DXY) fell for a second day against a basket of six major currencies.

“Equity markets are doing a little better, so it’s a bit more risk-on appetite,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “Copper’s benefiting from that.”

Copper futures for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle at $3.3905 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price gained 2.7 percent yesterday.

Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc fired some workers as a third strike this year slowed operations at the Collahuasi mine in Chile, the top copper-producing nation. The labor stoppage, taken to fight potential job losses, will go on for as long as is needed to reach an agreement, said union president Manuel Munoz.

“Investors are starting to look at the supply-side developments and speculating that we will get fairly tight supply-demand conditions if the global economy improves quite a bit,” Melek said.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.1 percent to $7,490 a metric ton ($3.40 a pound).

Aluminum, tin and nickel dropped in London. Zinc and lead rose.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net; Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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