Copper rose from the lowest in four weeks as better-than-expected U.S. new home sales and gains in Chinese industrial profits boosted the outlook for demand in the world’s biggest metals consumers.
Copper gained as much as 0.7 percent in London after settling Tuesday at the lowest since April 27. Purchases of new homes increased to a 517,000 annualized pace, according to a report from the Commerce Department. The median forecast of 70 economists called for 508,000. Construction accounts for about 30 percent of the copper’s use, according to Barclays Plc. Chinese industrial companies’ profit rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.
“The whole suite of numbers was pointing to a U.S. economy that is bubbling along, and that would be enough to give underlying commodity prices a boost,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5 percent to $6,135.50 a metric ton ($2.78 a pound) at 3:03 p.m. in Hong Kong. Futures for July delivery in New York advanced 0.3 percent to $2.786 a pound. The metal for the same month in Shanghai fell 0.2 percent to close at 44,420 yuan ($7,160) a ton.
All metals advanced on the LME.