Copper Advances in London as U.S. Factory Report Buoys Outlook

Copper prices rose in London for the first time in three sessions after a report showed industrial production increased more than forecast in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.

Output at factories, mines and utilities advanced 0.4 percent last month after a 1.4 percent decline in August, the Federal Reserve said today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a 0.2 percent rise. Copper also climbed as two German lawmakers said the country is open to Spain seeking a precautionary credit line, bolstering optimism that Europe can contain its debt crisis.

“The economic and the Spanish-bailout news are helping to prop things up,” Dennis Cajigas, a senior market strategist at Zaner Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The U.S. and China are driving markets, and the industrial production figure is boosting expectations for demand.”

Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.4 percent to settle at $8,125 a metric ton ($3.69 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Last week, the price fell 2 percent, the most since July 20, amid concern that demand will ease in the U.S. and China, the top consumer.

Stockpiles in warehouses monitored by the LME declined 0.7 percent today to 210,725 tons, the lowest since Oct. 23, 2008.

Copper futures for December delivery fell less than 1 percent to settle at $3.70 a pound on the Comex in New York.

On the LME, nickel, aluminum and zinc declined, while lead and tin gained.

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