Copper futures gained this week for the first time since October after a report showed U.S. employers added more jobs than forecast in November, boosting demand prospects.
The rise in payrolls followed a gain a month earlier that was bigger than previously estimated, while the jobless rate held at a seven-year low, a government report showed Friday. Copper snapped the longest streak of weekly losses in two years, which came as concern mounted over slowing global economies. The U.S. is the biggest user of the metal after China.
“We had a nice employment report, and there seems to be an atmosphere of optimism,” Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. “If more people are working, we’re going to see more spending, buying more cars and houses, and that adds to a vibrancy of the economy.”
Copper futures for March delivery added 0.9 percent to settle at $2.079 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York, capping the first weekly gain since Oct. 9.
Stockpiles of copper tracked by the London Metal Exchange dropped to 237,625 metric tons, the lowest since January.
Copper for delivery in three months on the LME climbed 1.2 percent to $4,612 a ton ($2.09 a pound). Lead, nickel, tin and zinc also advanced in London. Aluminum rose 3.9 percent this week, the biggest such increase since May.