Copper extended a weekly gain as better-than-expected U.S. jobs data and China’s fixed-asset investment helped boost demand from the two largest users. Zinc also advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.4 percent to $7,768 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,764 by 10:43 a.m. Shanghai time. The metal climbed 0.5 percent last week, the first gain in four weeks. The contract for June delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 56,740 yuan ($9,119) a ton.
U.S. employment rose 236,000 last month, exceeding a median forecast of 165,000 by 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. In China, fixed-asset investment increased by higher-than-estimated 21.2 percent in January and February.
“The data are positive to prices,” Cheng Xiaoyong, an analyst at Baocheng Futures Co., said by phone from Hangzhou. “Looking ahead, if inflation worsens and property continues to climb, any tightening measures would be negative to metals.”
Futures for delivery in May on the Comex in New York rose 0.3 percent to $3.519 per pound. Net-short positions, or wagers on falling prices, held by funds gained to 16,391 futures and options contracts as of March 5 from 7,172 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
On the LME, aluminum, nickel and tin declined.
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