Base metals advanced after better- than-forecast U.S. durable goods orders and home-price data fueled optimism about demand from the second-largest user.
Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.4 percent to $7,654 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,630 by 9:59 a.m. Shanghai time. Zinc added as much as 0.8 percent to $1,919.75 a ton, while lead gained as much as 0.5 percent to $2,141 a ton.
Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years climbed by the most since September in February, as sales of new homes capped the best two months since 2008 and residential real-estate prices rose in January by the most since June 2006. Construction generates 40 percent of demand for the metal, according to the Copper Development Association.
“There’s not too much negative news that can weigh down copper further at the moment,” said Lu Minsu, an analyst at New Century Futures Co.
Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, has rescheduled shipments as a strike at Angamos port, the company said yesterday. The stoppage began on March 16.
Copper for delivery in July fell 0.2 percent to 55,630 yuan ($8,954) a ton. The May contract on the Comex gained 0.2 percent to $3.4485 a pound.
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