Copper Prices May Decline on French Election Outcome

Copper futures posted their biggest gain in more than a week, after a report showed March factory orders in Germany, the world’s third-biggest consumer, increased more than economists forecast.

Factory orders jumped 2.2 percent from February, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 0.5 percent increase, according to the median of 37 estimates. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed as much as 0.3 percent. Earlier, copper fell as much as 1.5 percent on concern that the financial measures required to pull Europe out of a debt crisis may not be implemented.

“The German data is a big positive surprise and is definitely supporting the market,” James Cordier, a portfolio manager at OptionSellers.com in Tampa, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing people come back to equities and commodities after the initial knee-jerk reaction.”

Copper futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to settle at $3.7735 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since April 26.

China was the top consumer in 2010, followed by the U.S., according to CRU, a metals researcher.

The London Metal Exchange is closed for a public holiday.

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