Copper Rises as China Exports, Alcoa Sales Signal Demand

Copper rose for the first time in five sessions as signs of renewed growth in China and better- than-expected results from Alcoa Inc. (AA) pointed to stronger metals demand.

Total imports and exports in China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, probably gained in December, economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast before a government report tomorrow. Alcoa Inc. said metals demand will climb in the Asian country as the economy rebounds. The company yesterday reported fourth-quarter sales that beat analyst estimates.

“The export numbers are expected to show the Chinese economy is continuing to grow, and overall we have a better demand picture,” Harry Denny, a broker at Hoboken, New Jersey- based PVM Futures Inc., said in a telephone interview. “The Alcoa numbers were good, and that took markets higher.”

Copper futures for delivery in March advanced 0.5 percent to $3.6915 a pound at 11:10 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices fell 1.7 percent in the previous four sessions.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.4 percent to $8,109 a metric ton ($3.68 a pound).

Aluminum for delivery in three months added 1.7 percent to $2,102.25 a ton on the LME. Demand in China, the top user, will gain 11 percent this year, helped by stimulus spending announced by the country’s new leadership, according to New York-based Alcoa. The company is the biggest U.S. producer of the metal.

Tin, nickel, zinc and lead also climbed in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

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

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