Chinese manufacturing expanded for a fourth month in January, a purchasing managers’ index released by the country’s statistics bureau and its logistics federation showed. A report due at 1:30 p.m. London time will show hiring in the U.S. sped up last month to 165,000 workers, the most since August, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
“The Chinese economy is continuing to recover all the same, albeit somewhat less dynamically than anticipated,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said today in a report. “Market players are also likely to be looking with interest at the U.S. labor-market figures.”
Copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.6 percent to $8,210 a metric ton by 10:44 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Prices are up 2.2 percent this week. Futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $3.735 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Copper traders are the most bullish in 15 months on mounting confidence the U.S. economy will rebound at a time when China’s recovery is gaining momentum. Twenty-five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week and five were bearish, making the proportion of bulls the highest since Oct. 14, 2011.
Figures due Feb. 4 will show U.S. factory orders gained for a third month in four in December, economists said.
Stockpiles of copper tracked by the LME rose 1.1 percent to 376,000 tons, the highest level since Dec. 16, 2011, daily exchange figures showed. Inventories in New Orleans, the biggest repository, climbed for a fourth session to 103,550 tons. Orders to draw the metal from stocks slid 5.9 percent to 34,600 tons.
“Market players have been ignoring the increase in stocks,” Briesemann said. “This is clearly being overshadowed by the positive economic outlook and growing risks to supply.”
Nickel led gains on the LME. Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin advanced.
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