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Copper Trades at Four-Week High as Fed Maintains Asset-Purchase

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Copper climbed to the highest level in four weeks and was poised for the biggest monthly gain since September after the Federal Reserve maintained an asset-purchase program.

Metal for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to $8,241 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:17 p.m. Shanghai time, after rising to $8249, the highest level since Jan. 3. It has gained 3.9 percent this month, the biggest advance since 7.8 percent in September. The May contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 59,560 yuan ($9,577) a ton.

The Fed will keep buying securities at a rate of $85 billion a month, the Federal Open Market Committee said after a two-day meeting. Rio Tinto Group is considering a temporary halt to construction work at the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia, the world’s biggest copper project under construction, according to two people familiar with the plans.

“The rally in the copper price this month is driven by the expectation of a better global economy this year,” Ma Jian, an analyst at Orient Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “Having said that, we still expect it to keep up the relatively strong momentum heading into February.”

Copper for March delivery on the Comex in New York was little changed at $3.7515 per pound. On the LME, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin and nickel advanced.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Sun in Shanghai at hsun30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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