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Copper Rises on China Inventory Drop, U.S. Sentiment Data

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures rose for the second straight day after inventories dropped to a seven-month low in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metal, while U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest since 2007.

Stockpiles of refined copper monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell to 190,330 metric tons, the lowest since October, data showed today. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index rose to 83.7 in May, compared with 76.4 in April and the 77.9 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities climbed to a record.

“If inventories are going down, that’s a good sign,” Matt Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “It looks like the market may have bottomed, and some of the enthusiasm from equities is spilling over into copper.”

Copper futures for July delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at $3.323 a pound at 1:11 p.m. on the Comex in New York, capping a two-day rally of 1.8 percent. The U.S. is the second-biggest consumer of the metal.

This week, the price declined 0.9 percent, ending a three-week advance. Futures have dropped 9 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $7,305 a ton ($3.31 a pound). Zinc, tin and lead gained, while aluminum and nickel dropped.

To contact the reporters 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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