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Copper Rises as Low European Rates Boost Demand Outlook

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Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures advanced for the fifth time in six sessions as European policy makers held borrowing costs at record lows, bolstering prospects for metal demand.

The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate at 0.75 percent, and the Bank of England held its key rate at 0.5 percent. The dollar headed for the biggest drop in three weeks against a basket of currencies, boosting the appeal of commodities as alternative investments. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities rose for the fourth straight day.

“The positive equity story reflects both a growth and risk story and also expectations of more liquidity, and those same expectations drive other risk assets, in particular copper,” said Justin Smirk, an analyst at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney and the most accurate forecaster for industrial metals in Bloomberg rankings in the past eight quarters.

Copper futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $3.786 a pound at 1:23 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price has gained 10 percent this year on speculation that government stimulus plans will shore up their economies.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.1 percent to $8,300 a metric ton ($3.76 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, tin advanced, while lead and zinc fell.

To contact the reporters on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net; Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

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