Copper Futures Rise as Inventories Fall, Spread Spot Price Grows

Copper futures gained as inventories declined for a sixth day and after the cost of the metal for immediate delivery rose to the most expensive in a year relative to three-month contracts, indicating tighter supply.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 1 percent to $6,976 a metric ton and was at $6,935.50 at 1:11 p.m. in Shanghai. The price touched $6,982 yesterday, the highest since June 19.

LME stockpiles fell for six days in a row to 659,200 tons yesterday, while Shanghai Futures Exchange inventories declined for the first time in five weeks to 182,493 tons last week. Copper for immediate delivery traded at a premium of as much as $18 a ton to the three-month contract yesterday as traders closed out bearish bets amid shrinking availability of the metal.

“The available stockpiles are limited right now, giving copper the momentum to test strong resistance at $7,000,” Zhang Tianfeng, an analyst at Dongxing Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “Given the low inventory level at Chinese copper users, short-sellers are cautious at the current level.”

Copper for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 50,150 yuan ($8,178) a ton. Metal for delivery in September on the Comex was little changed at $3.1435 a pound.

On the LME, aluminum, nickel, tin and zinc declined, while lead was little changed.

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