Copper rose in New York after the central bank in China, the biggest consumer of the metal, injected funds to help ease climbing financing costs. Zinc climbed to the highest price since February.
China’s central bank conducted the first reverse-repurchase agreements in three weeks, helping address the tightest funding conditions since a record cash crunch in June. Copper also gained as inventories of the metal tracked by the London Metal Exchange shrank for a 37th straight session.
“Prices of copper and some other metals were encouraged as market liquidity was seen improving after the central bank operation,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures Co.
Copper for delivery in March gained 0.5 percent to $3.325 a pound by 7:26 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices rose 3.7 percent this month and fell 8.9 percent in 2013. Copper for delivery in three months added 0.5 percent to $7,280 a metric ton on the LME.
Inventories of the metal monitored by the LME fell 1.9 percent, the most since October 2012, to 371,975 tons, daily data showed. Orders to remove copper from warehouses slid to 246,300 tons, down 34 percent from the 2013 high in June.
Zinc for delivery in three months rose as high as $2,085 a ton, the highest since Feb. 28. The metal is headed for the biggest monthly climb in 15 months as LME stocks shrank to the lowest since March 2012.
“Zinc has been the darling of the LME over the past few weeks,” RBC Capital Markets LLC said in a report today. “Steady stock declines and a reported deficit in 2013 have clearly caught the market off guard.”
United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, filed a lawsuit in the U.K. seeking a judicial review of the LME’s decision to amend rules in an effort to cut waiting times for withdrawals from warehoused stocks, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which owns the LME, said today. The new rules are scheduled to take effect April 1.
Lead climbed in London as tin and nickel fell. Nickel, aluminum, zinc and copper may rise next year, according to estimates from analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
Trading on the LME and the Comex will be closed tomorrow for Christmas. The London market also will be shut on Dec. 26.
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