Copper climbed for the first time in three days as the lowest price in six weeks stoked demand before data that may show U.S. employers didn’t hire enough workers to lower the jobless rate, boosting chances of fresh stimulus.
Three-month copper rose as much as 0.5 percent to $7,368 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,365.50 by 4:03 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal is still down 2.6 percent this week. The September-delivery contract rose 1 percent to $3.322 a pound on the Comex.
Unemployment in the U.S., which has been stuck above 8 percent since February 2009, was probably at 8.2 percent for a third month, economists forecast before data today. The Fed “will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions,” it said after a two-day meeting this week.
“We’ve seen good buying interest around $7,300 a ton for copper,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. A drop in stockpiles also lent support for the market, he said.
The metal fell yesterday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi failed to provide detailed measures to curb the 17-nation region’s fiscal crisis after policy makers met. Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.7 percent to 246,800 tons, declining for a fourth day, exchange figures showed yesterday.
Inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 4,463 tons to 156,510 tons last week from a week ago, dropping for the first time in six weeks. November-delivery copper fell 1 percent to close at 54,100 yuan ($8,488) a ton on the bourse.
LCH.Clearnet Ltd. lowered margins for copper, aluminum alloys, tin, lead, cobalt and the LME index of six industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange, effective Aug. 8, according to a notice on the LCH.Clearnet’s website.
Aluminum, zinc, lead, tin and nickel also advanced.