Copper Rises as Housing Recovery Buoys Demand Outlook

Copper futures rose for the first time in three sessions as a jump in March home prices added to signs of a recovery in real estate in the U.S., the second-biggest consumer of the metal used in pipes and wiring.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.9 percent from a year earlier, the biggest 12-month gain since April 2006, after advancing 9.4 percent in February, a report showed today. The median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 10.2 percent increase.

“We’re once again seeing positive signs for the housing market in the U.S.,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Continued recovery in housing points to prospects for better copper demand.”

Copper futures for July delivery added 0.6 percent to settle at $3.315 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Last week, the metal fell 0.8 percent, the second straight decline.

An average single-family house contains 439 pounds of copper, the website of Peoria, Arizona-based Viking Minerals Inc. shows.

Copper earlier slid as much as 0.8 percent amid growth concerns in China, the largest user of the metal. Premier Li Keqiang told German business leaders his country is confronted by “huge challenges” as it seeks 7 percent annual growth this decade, down from more than 10 percent in the previous 10 years.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange fell for the third straight session to 619,650 metric tons. They have surged 94 percent this year. Orders to remove the metal from warehouses climbed 0.5 percent to 223,150 tons, the first gain after three declines from the record on May 21.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $7,323 a ton ($3.32 a pound). Aluminum, lead, tin, zinc and nickel also gained.

Yesterday, the LME and Comex floor trading were closed for public holidays.