Copper Advances to One-Week High as BoJ Signals Stimulus

Copper reached a one-week high in New York after the Bank of Japan said it will shift to open-ended asset purchases to help spur economic growth.

Central bank officials voted to adopt a 2 percent inflation target and will begin the asset purchases next year. Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest user of the metal. Copper prices climbed 6.3 percent last year as central banks in the U.S., Europe and China increased efforts to boost economies.

“Japan’s central bank pledged to do what’s needed to boost economic growth, and that’s given everything a bit of a bullish tone today,” Matt Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The copper market is looking pretty good right now.”

Copper futures for delivery in March rose 0.7 percent to settle at $3.705 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $3.7075, the highest since Jan. 11. Floor trading was closed yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the biggest publicly traded producer, today reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates as sales of the metal increased more than expected.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 1 percent to $8,133 a metric ton ($3.69 a pound).

Aluminum, lead and zinc increased in London. Tin and nickel fell.

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