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Copper Rises First Time in Five Days on U.S., China Data

Copper climbed for the first time in five days after economic data raised expectations that demand will improve in China and the U.S., the two largest users.

Metal for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.4 percent to $7,978.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,958 at 2:06 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper fell to $7,920 yesterday, the lowest level since Dec. 31. Futures for March delivery on the Comex in New York gained 0.2 percent to $3.615 per pound.

Production at U.S. factories climbed more than forecast in December from a month earlier, Federal Reserve figures showed. The Labor Department said its consumer-price index was unchanged last month. China’s National Bureau of Statistics will report tomorrow that gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. That’s up from a three-year low of 7.4 percent in the previous period.

“Recent data showed the two economies are accelerating,” He Shan, an analyst at Galaxy Futures Co., said by phone from Beijing. “These data are helping to underpin copper prices even as we’re about to see a strong growth in supplies.”

World supply may outstrip demand in 2013 for the first time in four years as mine output rises, according to Pan Pacific Copper Co., Japan’s top producer.

Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s biggest producer, settled treatment and refining charges for 2013 with two international miners, including Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. at $70 a ton and 7 cents a pound, board secretary Pan Qifang said today. Pan Pacific Copper Co. signed similar deals with miners.

Copper for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to 57,770 yuan ($9,289) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. On the LME, tin declined, while lead, aluminum, zinc and nickel were little changed.

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