Copper Climbs for First Day in Four on Data From China, Japan

Copper advanced for the first time in four days as data from China, the world’s biggest consumer, added to signs a rebound is gaining momentum and Japan raised its economic outlook, boosting demand for industrial metals.

The metal for three-month delivery climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $8,070 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $8,063 at by 4:31 p.m. in Tokyo. The price fell 0.4 percent last week. Futures for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to end at 58,620 yuan ($9,418) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose for a fourth month in December, adding to signs the country’s economic rebound is gaining momentum. Japan’s Cabinet Office said today that real gross domestic product will be 2.5 percent in the year to March 31, 2014, upgrading a previous 1.7 percent forecast.

“Economic data from China and Japan lent support to the copper,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. A drop in stockpiles in London and Shanghai was also supportive for the market, he said.

Stockpiles of copper monitored by the LME fell 0.6 percent to 342,900 tons, daily exchange figures showed on Jan. 25. That capped a weekly drop, the first in eight. Inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined last week for the second week to 205,120 tons, data from the bourse showed.

Economic reports later this week may show U.S. employers added 160,000 workers to payrolls last month after a 155,000 December increase, while manufacturing is stabilizing, housing is improving and consumers are more confident. The Federal Reserve starts a policy meeting Jan. 29.

Futures for delivery in March rose 0.3 percent to $3.6625 a pound on the Comex in New York. On the LME, aluminum and lead also climbed, while zinc, nickel and tin fell.

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