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Copper Set for Fifth Weekly Gain After China Data Boost Outlook

Copper advanced, set for the best weekly run in more than a year, after data showed China’s manufacturing may expand at a faster pace, adding to signs that demand in the world’s top metals buyer is recovering.

The contract for delivery in three months gained 0.3 percent to $8,095 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 4 p.m. in Seoul. The price is up 0.8 percent this week, poised for a fifth such gain. That’s the longest winning streak since July 29, 2011. The March-delivery contract increased 0.8 percent to $3.688 a pound on the Comex in New York.

The preliminary December reading was 50.9 for a purchasing managers’ index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. That compares with the 50.8 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 12 economists and a final reading of 50.5 for November, the first time in 13 months it was above the expansion-contraction division line of 50.

“The China data came out a good read,” Hwang Il Doo, head of metals trading at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co., said by phone today from Seoul. “We expect China’s economy will recover next year as Xi Jinping needs to keep growth momentum on track. Prices are well supported at $8,000 and can take off.”

The metal gained 6.5 percent this year. Stockpiles monitored by the LME yesterday rose for a sixth session to 269,875 tons, the highest since March 14. Copper yesterday fell by the most in two weeks in intraday trading on concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach a budget compromise, triggering $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

The contract for March delivery climbed 0.4 percent to close at 57,840 yuan ($9,273) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. On the LME, nickel, zinc and lead also gained, while aluminum and tin were little changed.

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