Copper futures rose, ending the longest slump in 14 years, on prospects for demand to increase in China, the world’s biggest consumer.
Total Chinese demand, including refined and scrap metal, may gain an average 6 percent a year from 2011 to 2015, Wang Zhongkui, the deputy general manager of Beijing Antaike Information Development Co., said today. Imports of refined copper jumped 17 percent in September from a month earlier, the most this year, data showed last week.
“The market is in a supply deficit, and Chinese copper imports have recently risen again,” helping to support prices, analysts led by Tobias Merath at Credit Suisse Group AG’s private-banking unit, said in a report.
Copper futures for December delivery gained 0.3 percent to settle at $3.506 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal fell in the previous eight sessions, the longest slide for a most-active contract since October 1998.
Comex floor trading was closed for the second straight day after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast, flooding streets and leaving millions of people without power.
Copper also gained after central banks took more steps aimed at spurring economic growth. The Bank of Japan expanded its asset-purchase program for the second time in two months, and the Reserve Bank of India cut lenders’ reserve requirements to back a policy revamp by the government.
“Given the added stimulus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see copper hold at these levels and consolidate a bit,” Matt Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $7,720 a metric ton ($3.50 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, tin, zinc and lead also gained.