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Copper Rises as Reports Signal U.S. Economic Recovery

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose for the second time in three days amid more signs that the economy is recovering in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user of the metal.

Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in March at the fastest pace since June 2010, and a Philadelphia-area factory index grew at the quickest rate in 11 months, regional Federal Reserve bank data showed today. A Labor Department report showed claims for jobless benefits matching the lowest in four years, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index topped 1,400 for the first time since 2008.

“The U.S. is showing some growth, and it’s a trend now,” Frank Cholly, a senior commodity broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “You always need a steady diet of good news to feed a bull market, and for as long as we have that, equities will continue to rally, and copper will follow.”

Copper futures for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to settle at $3.8975 a pound at 1:25 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has climbed 13 percent this year.

Inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange have dropped 28 percent this year to the lowest since July 2009.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.2 percent to $8,565 a metric ton ($3.89 a pound).

Aluminum, lead and zinc also gained in London, while nickel and tin fell.

China is the biggest consumer of industrial metals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

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

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