Copper futures advanced after new home sales rose to the highest in more than two years in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.
Home purchases climbed 4.4 percent to a 377,000 annual pace in November, the most since April 2010, following a revised 361,000 rate in October, Commerce Department data showed today. In China, the top copper user, profit at industrial companies rose for the third straight month.
“You have a recipe for higher copper prices with the home-sales numbers and strong Chinese industrial-profit data,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for March delivery increased 0.1 percent to settle at $3.601 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Yesterday, the price climbed 1.5 percent. This year, the metal has gained 4.8 percent.
Chinese industrial companies’ profit rose 23 percent in November from a year earlier to 638.5 billion yuan ($102 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said today. Urbanization is expected to spur 40 trillion yuan of investment by 2020, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Dec. 25, citing a draft plan by the National Development and Reform Commission.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.3 percent to $7,915 a metric ton ($3.59 a pound). The exchange was closed for the past two days for public holidays.
Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin increased in London, while nickel slipped.