Copper rose for the first time in four days as economic data from the U.S. to Japan added to signs of a global economic recovery, boosting demand prospects.
Copper for delivery in three months increased as much as 0.3 percent to $8,021.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $8,003.75 at 1:48 p.m. in Seoul. The metal is 0.9 percent higher this year, extending a 4.4 percent gain last year, on bets that economic recovery in China, the biggest buyer, will increase demand.
The Commerce Department yesterday said that retail sales in the U.S. climbed 0.5 percent in December, the most in three months and exceeding the 0.2 percent forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Japan’s machinery orders rose more than expected in November.
“We expect copper to be amongst the better performers in the base metals space in 2013,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Mark Pervan, wrote in a report today. “Our expectations for a recovery in China and improving sentiment in the U.S. will underpin stronger demand and push prices to $9,000 by year end.”
China’s exports rose more than forecast last month and a broad measure of credit surged 28 percent, helping the nation’s new leaders sustain a pickup in economic growth after a seven-quarter slowdown.
Copper for April delivery gained 0.6 percent to 58,040 yuan ($9,338) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Copper futures for March delivery traded little changed at $3.6365 a pound on the Comex in New York.
On the LME, lead and nickel declined, while aluminum and zinc were little changed.