Copper climbed and zinc was poised for the first weekly gain in five after U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly dropped, improving demand prospects with the world’s second-largest user.
Copper for delivery in three months rose for a second day, adding as much as 0.4 percent to $7,829.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,825.50 by 10:32 a.m. Shanghai time. The metal has climbed 1.1 percent so far this week. Zinc climbed 0.4 percent to $1,983 a ton and has risen by the same amount for this week.
The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. averaged 346,750 over the past four weeks, the lowest since March 2008, data from the Labor Department show. Haruhiko Kuroda was confirmed as Bank of Japan governor by the upper house of parliament, ushering in a new central bank leadership team that may push for more monetary stimulus within weeks.
“Data from the U.S. have been pretty good recently, lending support to copper prices,” Xie Xiaoming, an analyst at Shengda Futures Co., said by phone from Guangzhou. “Still, copper futures don’t have the momentum to gain much given a lackluster physical market.”
July futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.2 percent to 56,930 yuan ($9,158) a ton. Copper for delivery in May on the Comex in New York rose 0.2 percent to $3.5435 a pound.
Seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week, six forecast a decline and three were neutral.
On the LME, lead and nickel declined.
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