Industrial Metals Gain as China Manufacturing Shows Recovery

Copper advanced for a second day after a survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed China’s manufacturing expanding at faster pace this month. Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also advanced.

Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 1.7 percent to $7,750 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,703.5 by 11:24 a.m. in Tokyo. The May contract on the Comex in New York climbed 1.1 percent to $3.483 per pound.

The preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index was 51.7 in March, according to a statement from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics today. That compares with the 50.4 final reading for February and the 50.8 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 analysts. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. China is the biggest consumer of industrial metals.

“China’s manufacturing index was stronger than we had expected,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. “The index has calmed down concern over Europe’s debt crisis.”

Copper rose 1.2 percent yesterday in London after touching $7,486.25 on March 19, the lowest level since Aug. 21, as investors speculated that the European Central Bank will continue to support Cyprus, helping to allay concern that the region’s debt turmoil will erode economic growth.

China’s foreign direct investment rose for the first time in nine months in February, Commerce Ministry data showed March 19, a sign that confidence in the economy is improving.

Copper for July delivery on the Shanghai exchange rose 1.7 percent to 56,310 yuan ($9,064) a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

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

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