Copper gained for a second day in London as U.S. data showed demand from the second-largest user may improve. Aluminum and nickel also advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $7,876.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,868.75 at 2:04 p.m. in Shanghai, rising 3.5 percent this year. April futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 0.4 percent to 57,030 yuan ($9,149) a ton.
Household purchases climbed last month as orders for long-lasting items increased more than forecast, data from the Commerce Department showed on Dec. 21. Purchases of new houses probably rose to the highest level in more than two years and the value of existing properties increased, according to the median forecast of 60 economists surveyed by Bloomberg before Dec. 27 figures from the Commerce Department.
“U.S. data are pointing to improving economic conditions and that’s going to lend support,” Wang Na, an analyst at Guolian Futures Co., said from Wuxi. “Given the holidays ahead, copper is likely to trade between $7,600 and $7,900.”
March futures on the Comex in New York rose 0.2 percent to $3.5745 a pound. Net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, held by funds were 24,531 futures and options contracts as of Dec. 18, the highest since August 2011, and compared with 22,123 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.