Copper Rises First Time in Six Days as Home Sales Buoy Outlook

  • New home sales in U.S. surge to highest in eight years
  • Orders to withdraw copper from LME warehouses soar 37 percent

Copper had the first gain in six sessions as new-home sales in the U.S. surged to the highest in eight years, boosting demand prospects for the metal used in pipes and wiring.

Home purchases rose almost 17 percent, government figures showed Tuesday, pointing to a robust spring selling season for builders. Construction accounts for 30 percent of global demand for copper, according to Nick Pickens, senior research manager at Wood Mackenzie. Orders to remove copper from warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange climbed 37 percent, the most since January.

“The market feels that we’ll see a little better consumption,” after the better-than-expected numbers for new home sales, Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Zaner Group LLC, a metals broker in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Seeing good demand on the LME is always very encouraging to all the metals.”

Copper futures for delivery in July advanced 0.6 percent to settle at $2.0665 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices slipped 1.6 percent in the past five sessions.

  • On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.9 percent. Aluminum and nickel also climbed on the LME, while lead, tin and zinc fell.
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