Copper climbed to the highest price in more than two weeks after U.S. housing data boosted optimism that demand was recovering in the second largest consumer. Zinc, lead and aluminum advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.7 percent to $8,159 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the most expensive since Jan. 11, and traded at $8,152 at 2:10 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal is heading for a 2.7 percent gain this month. The May contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.8 percent to 59,290 yuan ($9,532) a ton.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5.5 percent from November 2011, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s latest round of bond buying will reach $1.14 trillion before he ends the program in the first quarter of 2014, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
“Market confidence is improving as the global economy is expected to be better,” Lu Minsu, an analyst at New Century Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “An improvement in copper’s own fundamentals are needed for a further rally.”
LME copper inventories jumped 9 percent to 371,750 tons yesterday, the highest level in more than 13 months, data from the bourse showed. Metal for delivery in March on the Comex in New York gained 0.3 percent to $3.7025 per pound.