Copper Gains, Paring Weekly Drop, as U.S., China Growth Improves

Copper advanced, paring a weekly loss, as economic data from the U.S. and China, the two biggest consumers of industrial metals, boosted demand prospects.

Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.9 percent to $7,649 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,606.50 at 4:02 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal has dropped

1.9 percent this week.

U.S. home sales increased 0.8 percent to an annualized rate of 4.98 million, the most since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors said. A report from the Conference Board in New York indicated the U.S. is strengthening while a survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed yesterday that China’s manufacturing expanded at a faster pace this month.

“Data from the U.S. and China lent support to copper,” said Kazuhiko Saito, analyst at broker Fujitomi Co in Tokyo.

Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in the U.S., London and Shanghai have surged 45 percent this year to the highest since November 2003.

Copper for May delivery on the Comex in New York climbed

0.4 percent to $3.448 per pound, while the contract for July delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.3 percent to close at 55,630 yuan ($8,954) a ton.

On the LME, zinc also advanced, while nickel, aluminum, lead and tin were little changed.