Copper rose in London before a report that may show manufacturing in China increased, adding to speculation of recovering demand by the biggest buyer.
The December reading on the purchasing managers’ index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics on Dec. 31 may be 50.9, up from 50.5 in November, according to the median of 14 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Another report showed yesterday Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose almost 23 percent in November from a year earlier to 638.5 billion yuan ($102 billion).
“There is optimism around because Chinese data have improved,” Andrew Silver, a broker at Triland Metals Ltd. in London, said by phone today.
Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.2 percent to $7,933 a metric ton by 9:22 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Futures have advanced 4.4 percent this year. Copper for delivery in March rose 0.3 percent to $3.612 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME gained for a 15th session to 318,050 tons, the highest level since Feb. 7. Orders to withdraw the metal from warehouses, or canceled warrants, climbed 1.9 percent to 52,050 tons on bookings in Busan, South Korea.
Rising stockpiles “reflect fairly poor demand, particularly in Europe,” Silver said. “Turnover is low. The European side is quiet. There is a lack of confidence in the market right now.” Trading on the Comex copper is 38 percent below the average of the past 100 days at this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Aluminum, tin, nickel, zinc and lead fell in London.
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