Copper in London gained by the most in a week after falling to the lowest level in almost 18 months amid speculation that the slump will attract users in China, the biggest consumer. Aluminum, zinc and lead also climbed.
Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 1.1 percent, the most since April 9, to $7,271.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,242.75 a ton at 3:17 p.m. in Shanghai. Aluminum climbed 0.7 percent to $1,878.25 a ton. The LME Index of six primary base metals fell 1.8 percent yesterday, after retreating 2.6 percent on April 12.
“There should be some bargain-hunting following the slump,” said Xiao Jing, an analyst at Beijing Capital Futures Co. “Given the huge inventory and a market in surplus, it’s hard to say metals can stabilize at the current levels.”
LME copper stockpiles gained 3 percent to 611,175 tons yesterday, the highest since September 2003, bourse data showed. Moody’s Investors Service lowered its outlook for China’s credit rating to stable from positive, saying the nation has made less progress than anticipated in reducing risks from local-government debt and credit expansion.
Copper for delivery in August on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.9 percent lower at 52,900 yuan ($8,556) a ton, while the metal for delivery in May on the Comex in New York fell 0.2 percent to $3.266 per pound.