Copper Gains First Time in Three Days on U.S. Home Sales Outlook

Copper climbed for the first time in three days, heading for a second weekly advance, as a report may today show new-home sales increased in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user of the metal, boosting the demand outlook.

The metal for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.4 percent to $8,126.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $8,121 at 11:59 a.m. in Seoul. The price has advanced 0.7 percent this week. The contract for delivery in May gained 0.5 percent to 58,910 yuan ($9,470) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

New-home sales picked up to a 385,000 annual rate for the month, the best showing since April 2010, according to the survey median ahead of a Commerce Department report. Data yesterday showed Chinese manufacturing expanded at the fastest rate in two years, boosting confidence that the biggest buyer of the metal is leading a global recovery.

“We could see a small tick-up in prices should U.S. new home sales improve in line with expectations,” Nick Trevethan, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., wrote in a report today.

The U.S. economy picked up across much of the country last month, the Federal Reserve said Jan. 16, as homebuilding jumped to a four-year high in December.

Copper traders are bullish for a third consecutive week as 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week. Six were bearish and a further five were neutral.

Futures for delivery in March rose 0.4 percent to $3.6925 a pound on the Comex in New York. On the LME, aluminum, zinc and nickel also climbed, while lead fell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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