Copper futures rose, capping the longest run of weekly advances in 10 months, as U.S. payrolls gained more than projected, boosting economic optimism and signaling more metal demand.
Employment climbed by 146,000 in November, topping the 85,000 median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, a government report showed today. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest in almost four years. Copper also rose as analysts forecast industrial output will accelerate in China, the world’s top consumer of base metals.
“Markets are moving in reaction to the jobs report, and the idea is that we’re finally in the mind-set that things are going to get better” for the economy, Frank Cholly, a senior commodity broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There are also signs of growth out of China.”
Copper futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at $3.663 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York. This week, the price advanced 0.4 percent, the fourth straight gain and the longest rally since Feb. 3. The U.S. is the second- biggest consumer of the metal.
Chinese industrial-production growth probably accelerated for the third straight month in November to 9.8 percent from a year earlier, while retail sales probably rose more than 14 percent, the most since March, according to median estimates in Bloomberg News surveys before data due on Dec. 9.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.4 percent to $8,035 a metric ton ($3.64 a pound). Aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead rose, and tin declined.
To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Richter in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at email@example.com