Lead Prices Advance for Second Day on U.S. Economic Data

Lead prices rose for the second straight day on signs that the economy is strengthening in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer. Tin climbed the most in four weeks.

The index of pending home resales in the U.S. increased 4.5 percent to 105.9, the highest since April 2010, after a revised 1.9 percent drop the prior month, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed today. Demand for lead was 931,600 metric tons in December, outpacing refined production of 926,000 tons, an industry group said on Feb. 18.

“A recovery in the U.S. market is providing support to the market,” Marc Ground, a commodity strategist at Standard Bank Plc in Johannesburg, said telephone in a telephone interview.

On the London Metal Exchange, lead for delivery in three months climbed 0.3 percent to settle at $2,304 a ton at 5:51 p.m. local time. Yesterday, the price gained 0.1 percent, ending a six-session slump, the longest in four months.

Lead has advanced 2.5 percent in the past 12 months as stockpiles monitored by the LME tumbled 22 percent.

Tin jumped 0.8 percent to $23,475 a ton, the biggest advance since Jan. 30. Copper and nickel also increased, while aluminum and zinc fell.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery slid 0.4 percent to $3.567 a pound ($7,864 a ton). The price has dropped 8.3 percent in the past 12 months.

Global inventories monitored by exchanges in London, New York and Shanghai have jumped 22 percent this year.