Copper Climbs in Longest Rally Since May on China Stimulus Bets

  • `Aggressive' Chinese measures seen supporting growth: RJO
  • Zinc, lead, nickel and tin also gain in London trading

Copper rose for a fifth session in New York, the longest winning streak since May, amid mounting speculation that China will unveil measures to buoy the economy of the world’s biggest buyer of industrial metals.

China on Saturday kicks off its National People’s Congress, where Premier Li Keqiang may confirm a shift in monetary policy from “prudent” to “prudent with a slight easing bias,” flagged by the central bank. That may open the door to further support for the economy. Stockpiles in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell for a 10th day to the lowest in more than 13 months.

“The copper market is signaling that there’s going to be aggressive measures taken in China to support domestic growth,” Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Growth is front and center right now, from the domestic standpoint.”

Copper futures for May delivery rose 1.3 percent to settle at $2.2085 a pound at 1:19 p.m. on the Comex in New York, as later touched $2.212, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12.

“The destocking cycle has come to an end for many manufacturers, especially in Asia,” John Meyer, an analyst at SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP in London, said by telephone. “The market could swing back into deficit this year.”

Copper futures closed above the 100-day moving average for a third straight session. Prices have risen 14 percent since reaching the lowest since 2009 in January. The metal is seen extending gains as so-called backwardation, along with shrinking stockpiles and technical gauges, offer support. Backwardation is a market structure that may signal more demand or less supply.

  • On the London Metal Exchange, copper, zinc, lead, nickel and tin advanced. Aluminum declined.
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