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Copper Climbs in New York as U.S. Growth Outlook Improves

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Copper climbed to a one-week high after economic reports signaled improving prospects for demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest metals consumer after China.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final February index of U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly increased to a one-year high. Purchases of new homes also exceeded forecasts in January, data from the Commerce Department showed. Copper has climbed 13 percent this year on increasing optimism that global growth will be sustained.

“These are signs that copper demand will increase, and that is very bullish,” Bruno Del Ama, the chief executive officer at New York-based Global X Management Co LLC, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for May delivery gained 1.5 percent to settle at $3.87 a pound at 1:08 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after reaching $3.889, the highest since Feb. 13. Prices rose 4.1 percent this week.

Trading in Comex copper futures rose to a daily record of 117,165 contracts on Feb. 21, compared with a previous high of 109,426 on Feb. 9, exchange data show.

Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell for the first time since early December, data from the bourse showed today.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 1.7 percent to $8,530.50 a metric ton ($3.87 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, lead and zinc also rose. Tin fell.

To contact the reporters on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net; Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

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

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