Copper Rises Most in 3 Months on Signs of Better Chinese Growth

  • Glencore gains as Societe Generale raises share-price target
  • Chinese report on new credit exceeded estimates in August

Copper posted the biggest gain in almost three months as strong economic data from China fueled speculation that demand will strengthen in the Asian nation, the world’s largest metals consumer. An index of global mining stocks advanced for the first time in six days.

China’s broadest measure of new credit exceeded estimates in August, rebounding from a month earlier and bolstering evidence that growth is stabilizing. Chinese reports this week on factory output, investment and retail sales all exceeded economist estimates.

“The Chinese data is improved,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail. “Credit has been easier. That enables manufacturing to operate more smoothly and profitably and reduces bankruptcies.”

Copper for delivery in three months rose 2.6 percent to $4,771.50 a metric ton ($2.16 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, the biggest increase since June 15.

The Bloomberg World Mining index of producers added 0.4 percent, heading for its first gain since Sept. 6.

Users, including power-wiring companies, are stepping up purchases of copper ahead of China’s autumn festival after prices fell, Xu Maili, an analyst with Everbright Futures Ltd., said by phone from Shanghai. The three-day Chinese holiday starts Thursday.

In other metals news:

  • Copper stockpiles fell in Shanghai and London.
  • Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin gained on the LME, while nickel dropped.
  • Glencore added 2.5 percent in London trading. Societe Generale SA raised its share-price estimate, citing supportive commodity prices and the possibility that the company may resume dividend payments next year.
  • The Yangshan copper premium, a barometer of supply and demand in bonded warehouses in the city, has also recovered from a record low, indicating increased demand for imports.
  • Copper futures for December delivery gained 2.5 percent to $2.155 a pound on the Comex in New York.
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