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Copper Futures Advance on Signs U.S. Economy Recovering

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose for the second time in three sessions on signs that an economic recovery is gaining traction as company earnings and business sentiment improve in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user of the metal.

Confidence among small businesses rose in January, a report showed today. About 74 percent of the 354 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that have released results during the earnings season exceeded profit projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Through yesterday, the equity gauge climbed 6.4 percent this year.

“Copper is holding up well as the overall economy is showing gains,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “With equity prices buoyant, that supports the global-growth story.”

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $3.744 a pound at 1:14 p.m. The price has climbed 2.5 percent this year.

Financial markets are closed this week in China for the Lunar New Year holiday, damping copper demand, and stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange have climbed to the highest since November 2011.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months increased 0.5 percent to $8,236 a metric ton ($3.74 a pound). Aluminum, tin, zinc nickel and lead also gained.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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