Copper advanced, set for a weekly gain, as data showed manufacturing in China expanded for a fourth consecutive month, fueling optimism that demand for the metal may improve in the world’s largest user.
Metal for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.7 percent to $8,223 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $8,187.75 at 10:42 a.m. in Shanghai. It is poised for a 2 percent gain this week. Copper for delivery in March on the Comex fell 0.2 percent to $3.726 a pound.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.4 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said as they more than tripled the number of companies surveyed to 3,000. The reading compares with the 51 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 33 analysts and 50.6 in December. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.
“The data is not that bad,” Wu Jianjian, an analyst at Yongan Futures Co., said by phone from Hangzhou. “A relative bullish market sentiment is keeping copper in the uptrend.”
A separate report from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economic showed the manufacturing PMI at 52.3 last month, the highest in two years.
The May contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.5 percent to 59,380 yuan ($9,544) a ton. On the LME, aluminum and tin were little changed, lead and zinc fell, while nickel rose.
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