Copper Futures Advance to Two-Week High on Greek Aid, Confidence Gains

Copper rose to a two-week high as German legislators approved a second bailout for Greece, and U.S. and European gauges of economic confidence rose more than expected, pointing to improving growth and metals demand.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a parliamentary vote on Greek aid after warning lawmakers that pushing Greece out of the euro would risk “incalculable” damage. Confidence among U.S. consumers jumped in February to the highest level in a year, the Conference Board said today. The European Commission in Brussels said an index of executive and consumer sentiment climbed for a second month.

Europe is going to do what they can to protect the euro, and there are signs that Greece is starting to live up to their agreements in holding back on spending,” Harry Denny, a broker at Hoboken, New Jersey-based PVM Futures Inc., said in a telephone interview. “The U.S. economy has shown tremendous stability, and that’s adding momentum” in copper-price gains, he said.

Copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $3.9215 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the third straight gain. Prices reached $3.9575, the highest for a most- active contract since Feb. 10.

A gauge of confidence in Germany will reach a 12-month high in March, GfK SE (GFK) said. The country was the world’s third-biggest copper consumer in 2010, according to researcher CRU.

Prices also rose as China’s money-market rate touched a three-week low on speculation that the supply of cash is increasing since a reduction in banks’ reserve ratios took effect. The country is the biggest global consumer of the metal.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.7 percent to $8,600 a metric ton ($3.90 a pound).

Stockpiles of copper monitored by the LME, down 19 percent this year, declined 0.5 percent to 298,850 tons, the lowest since August 2009, exchange figures show.

Lead, zinc and tin rose in London. Nickel and aluminum fell.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net; Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

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

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