Copper futures advanced, capping the longest run of weekly gains in two years, on signs of an industrial recovery in China and the U.S., the biggest users of the metal.
The preliminary December reading was 50.9 for a China purchasing managers’ index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics, compared with a final reading of 50.5 for November. A level above 50 indicates expansion. Industrial production in the U.S. rose in November by the most in two years, the Federal Reserve reported.
“We’re seeing better data out of China, and these kinds of reports are reinforcing the idea that we’re moving in the right direction and that things in the economy are improving, slow as it may be,” Frank Cholly, a senior commodity broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for March delivery climbed 0.6 percent to settle at $3.683 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal added 0.5 percent this week, the fifth-straight weekly rise and the longest rally since December 2010.
Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities increased 1.1 percent last month after a revised 0.7 percent drop in October that was more than initially estimated, the Fed said. Economists forecast a 0.3 percent advance, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Manufacturing, about 75 percent of production, surged 1.1 percent in November, the most this year.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.1 percent to $8,065 a metric ton ($3.66 a pound).
Nickel, zinc and tin gained on the LME, while aluminum and lead fell.
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