Copper climbed for the first time in six sessions in New York as trade data for all goods signaled an economic rebound in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer. Aluminum gained for a fourth day.
Chinese customs figures showed today that total exports jumped 14 percent in December from a year earlier. That was the biggest increase since May and more than the 5 percent gain predicted by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. A broad measure of credit surged 28 percent, according to the central bank.
The export and credit figures are “both providing evidence that the Chinese economy seems to be enjoying a modest uptick after seven quarters of successive slowdowns,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a report today.
Copper futures for delivery in March advanced 1 percent to settle at $3.709 a pound at 1:27 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal fell 1.8 percent in the previous five sessions, the longest string of declines since late October.
A weaker dollar also helped lift copper prices as the declining currency boosted the appeal of commodities as alternative investments, Meir said. The greenback fell as much as 1.1 percent against a basket of six major trading partners.
Stockpiles of copper monitored by the London Metal Exchange slid 0.8 percent to 326,575 metric tons, the biggest drop since Nov. 22. Orders to remove the metal from warehouses gained 5 percent to 68,400 tons on an increase in Busan, South Korea.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.4 percent to $8,115 a ton ($3.68 a pound).
Aluminum for delivery in three months gained 1.9 percent to $2,113.50 a ton on the LME. Demand for the lightweight metal in China will rise 11 percent this year, aided by stimulus spending, according to Alcoa Inc., the biggest U.S. producer.
Lead, zinc and tin climbed in London. Nickel fell.