Copper snapped the longest slump in five weeks as signs of further gains in housing boosted the outlook for demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest user after China.
Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than economists forecast in April, a private report showed Thursday. That follows figures this month on new-home sales and housing starts that show a pickup in residential real estate will contribute to economic growth. The Copper Development Association estimates that the average single-family home uses about 439 pounds (199 kilograms) of the metal.
“We got surprisingly good data out of the U.S. as of late, and pending home sales were better today,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a little more risk appetite at the moment.”
Copper for delivery in three months added 0.2 percent to settle at $6,095 a metric ton ($2.76 a pound) by 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The commodity fell in the previous three sessions, the longest slump since April 22.
Copper fabricators have seen a boost in orders from the power industry and demand from construction companies has stabilized in the past few months, Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report.
“We see the fundamentals as encouraging and steadily improving,” Vivienne Lloyd, an analyst at Macquarie in London, wrote. “There is more upside than downside for prices” of copper, she said.
Aluminum increased for the first time in 11 sessions in London. Zinc and lead also gained on the LME, while tin and nickel fell.
Copper futures for July delivery slid less than 0.1 percent to $2.7675 a pound on the Comex in New York.