Copper futures rallied from a three-month low after Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen backed U.S. stimulus measures until the economy improves.
In testimony during her nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee today, Yellen, the Fed’s vice chairman, said she is committed to promoting a strong economic recovery and will ensure monetary stimulus isn’t removed too soon. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities rose as much as 0.5 percent to a record.
“Metals got a bit of a bit of a boost from Yellen’s comments,” Brian Booth, a senior market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “She maintains the Fed’s stance that there’s there’s still a lot of work to do on the economy, and that they’ll probably continue to go to their bag of tricks until it improves.”
Copper futures for delivery in March rose less than 0.1 percent to settle at $3.172 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price touched $3.1535, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 7, amid concern that demand from China and Europe will slow.
The Fed will delay the first cut to its bond buying program until March, according to the median estimate of 32 economists in a Bloomberg News survey Nov. 8.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.2 percent to $6,992 a metric ton ($3.17 a pound). The price has declined 12 percent this year.
Inventories monitored by the LME extended a slump to the lowest since February. Copper available for delivery in Asian warehouses dropped to the lowest in more than four years.
Yesterday, the Comex price tumbled 2.2 percent, the most in 15 weeks, after output rose to a monthly record in China.
Today, aluminum, lead and nickel fell in London, while tin advanced. Zinc was unchanged