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Copper Rises Most in a Month as Job Data Ease Economic Concern

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose the most in a month as a bigger-than-forecast drop in U.S. jobless claims eased concern that the economic recovery is faltering.

Applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week for the first time in a month. The dollar fell as much as 0.8 percent against a basket of six major currencies, as demand for a haven eased. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rebounded from a six-session slump. The U.S. is the world’s second-largest copper consumer, after China.

Today’s trading was “dominated by macro releases out of the U.S. with weekly initial claims figuring most prominently,” Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global Holdings Ltd. in Darien, Connecticut, said today in a report.

Copper futures for December delivery rose 9.4 cents, or 2.9 percent, to close at $3.3255 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York. That’s the biggest gain for a most-active contract since July 21.

Yesterday, the metal closed above the 200-day moving average of $3.2213, after touching $3.20, the lowest level July 28. This is a “significant” price action that “attracted follow-through buying overnight out of China and India,” Alex Heath, the head of London Metal Exchange trading at RBC Capital Markets, said in a daily report.

‘More to Go’

“The bounce will have more to go,” especially if tomorrow’s readings on the U.S. economy “don’t blindside investors by coming in worse than expected,” MF Global’s Meir said.

A report from the Commerce Department may show gross domestic product grew at 1.4 percent in the second quarter, rather than the 2.4 percent annual rate calculated last month, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 81 economists.

Copper for delivery in three months jumped $203.50, or 2.9 percent, to $7,304.50 a metric ton ($3.32 a pound) on the LME.

Also in London, tin surged 4.9 percent to $21,350 a ton, the biggest gain since July 23.

Zinc rose 4.4 percent to $2,050 a ton while lead gained 3.3 percent to $2,025.50 a ton. For both metals, the advance was the biggest since Aug. 2. Aluminum and nickel also climbed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yi Tian in New York at Ytian8@bloomberg.net; Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in London at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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