Industrial Metals Advance as Economies in U.S., China Improve

Copper advanced, paring a weekly loss as economic data from the U.S. and China, the two biggest consumers of industrial metals, boosted demand prospects. Aluminum, zinc, tin and lead also climbed.

Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.9 percent to $7,649 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,636.25 at 11:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The metal has dropped 1.5 percent this week. The May contract on the Comex in New York climbed 0.5 percent to $3.4525 per pound while copper for July delivery on the Shanghai exchange declined 0.4 percent to 55,810 yuan ($8,983) a ton.

U.S. home sales increased 0.8 percent to an annualized rate of 4.98 million, the most since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors said. A report from the Conference Board in New York indicated the U.S. is strengthening while a survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed yesterday that China’s manufacturing expanded at a faster pace this month.

“Data from the U.S. and China lent support to copper,” said Kazuhiko Saito, analyst at broker Fujitomi Co (8740) in Tokyo. An unexpected contraction in German manufacturing and concern over Europe’s debt crisis would limit further gains in copper, he said.

Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in the U.S., London and Shanghai have surged 45 percent this year to the highest since November 2003.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at

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