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Copper Swings as Investors Assess Economic Data, Fed Stimulus

Copper swung between gains and losses as investors weighed better-than-estimated economic data in China and the U.S., the top users of the metal, against the timing of a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $7,173.75 a metric ton by 1:32 p.m. in Tokyo after trading between $7,160 and $7,206.75. Futures fell 1.1 percent last week.

U.S. payrolls rose 204,000 in October, almost twice as much as economists projected. The improvement in the labor market added to concern that the Fed will curb fiscal stimulus. Industrial output in China climbed more than analysts estimated last month. China’s Communist Party leaders will review state economic reforms before concluding their plenum tomorrow.

“While the market was absorbing the latest economic data from China and the U.S., investors were assessing the timing of the Fed’s stimulus cut and watching the conclusion of China’s party meeting tomorrow,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo.

China’s industrial output rose a more-than-estimated 10.3 percent from a year earlier in October, according to data released Nov 9. by the National Bureau of Statistics. October inflation was a less-than-forecast 3.2 percent.

Fed policy makers will pare the monthly pace of bond buying to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median of 32 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey Nov. 8. The median forecast in an Oct. 17-18 survey of 40 economists also called for a reduction to $70 billion in March.

Copper for delivery in January on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.3 percent to 51,620 yuan ($8,439) a ton. Futures for delivery in December climbed 0.2 percent to $3.259 a pound on the Comex in New York.

On the LME, aluminum rose, while zinc, lead and nickel were little changed. Tin hadn’t traded.

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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