Copper rose for a third day as investors await inflation figures from the U.S. and manufacturing data from China, the world’s largest users of industrial metals.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange gained as much as 0.3 percent to $6,926.75 a metric ton and was at $6,913 by 3:09 p.m. in Hong Kong. It advanced 0.5 percent to $6,905 yesterday, the highest close since Aug. 12.
Annual consumer-price inflation slowed to 2 percent in July from 2.1 percent in June, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before today’s Labor Department report. A gauge of Chinese manufacturing from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics on Aug. 21 will show a preliminary August reading of 51.5, marking a third month of expansion, according to a separate survey.
“Copper will be supported by the upcoming reports from the U.S. and China that may show the economies are improving,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, the general manager of research at Nihon Unicom Inc. in Tokyo.
The LME Index of the six metals rose 0.4 percent yesterday, gaining for a second day after data showed confidence among U.S. homebuilders reached the most in seven months.
In New York, the copper contract for December climbed 0.4 percent to $3.1445 a pound, while in Shanghai the metal for delivery in October added 0.9 percent to close at 49,390 yuan ($8,045) a ton, the highest since Aug. 12.
On the LME, nickel advanced as much as 0.6 percent to $18,598 a ton, rising for the first time in three days. Aluminum, zinc and lead also climbed, while tin was little changed.