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Copper Rises to Five-Month High as Inventories Extend Decline

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose to the highest price in almost five months as inventories dropped for a 30th straight week to the lowest level since November.

Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange have slumped 31 percent since Feb. 18 to 384,200 metric tons. Orders to draw metal from inventories posted the biggest weekly jump in four weeks. Copper is among the raw materials that will “break out to the upside in coming months,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report.

“The market is increasingly aware of fundamental tightness in copper,” said Tom Kendall, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in London. “Stocks keep being drawn down.”

Copper for delivery in December rose 2.85 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $3.522 a pound at 1:20 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price is up 3.4 percent this week, the fourth gain in five weeks.

Earlier, the metal touched $3.5525, the highest price for a most-active contract since April 26.

Potential strikes by miners in Chile and Peru, the world’s largest copper producers, also “added to the bull sentiment,” Alex Heath, the head of industrial-metals trading at RBC Capital Markets in London, said in a daily report. Concern for supply “simply adds extra spice to a market already looking like it’s gearing up for its next big move,” Heath said.

Supply deficits probably will “quickly deplete” stockpiles over the coming year, Goldman Sachs analysts including Jeffrey Currie said today in a report.

Copper for delivery in three months rose $20, or 0.3 percent, to $7,720 a metric ton ($3.50 a pound) on the LME.

Tin gained 0.4 percent to $23,600 a ton after touching $23,800, the highest price since July 16, 2008.

Aluminum, lead and zinc also rose in London. Nickel fell.

To contact the reporters on the story: Anna Stablum in London at astablum@bloomberg.net; Yi Tian in New York at Ytian8@bloomberg.net.

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

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