Copper Rises First Day in Four on Economic Sentiment in Germany

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Copper gained for the first time in four days in London after data showed an improvement in economic sentiment in Germany, the third largest user of the metal. Aluminum and lead also advanced.

Copper for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $8,099.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $8,071 by 4:13 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal fell to $8,038 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 29.

German investor confidence jumped more than economists forecast in February to the highest in almost three years. The European Commission may say today its index of consumer confidence improved, while in the U.S., the Federal Open Market Committee will release minutes from the Jan. 29-30 meeting. Europe consumes 18 percent of the world’s copper, according to Barclays Plc.

“The improvement in data from Europe and the U.S. will probably drive copper prices higher,” said Wang Jun, an analyst at Beijing Cifco Futures Co. “There’s not much downside for copper right now as we’re about to enter a season when consumption usually increases.”

The Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against six major counterparts, declined as much as 0.2 percent today. A weaker dollar often boosts the appeal of industrial metal to investors holding other currencies.

Copper for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.2 percent to close at 58,660 yuan ($9,402) a ton. The May contract on the Comex in New York gained 0.2 percent to $3.67545 per pound.

On the LME, aluminum, zinc and lead also rose, while nickel fell and tin dropped for a fifth day.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Sun in Shanghai at hsun30@bloomberg.net; Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

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