Copper Rebounds on Sign of Pickup in U.S. Manufacturing

Copper futures rebounded in New York after a report showed orders for automobiles, machinery and other durable goods jumped more than analyst forecasts in the U.S., the second-biggest consumer of the metal.

Bookings for products meant to last at least three years rose 4.2 percent, three times the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, government data showed today. The dollar dropped against a basket of 10 currencies, boosting the appeal of copper as an alternative asset. Earlier, the metal dropped as much as 0.9 percent amid concerns that demand will ebb in China, the top buyer.

“We have a weakened dollar and a good durables report, and that’s bullish,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “Copper reflects the economic outlook, so the market is paying attention to news like this.”

Copper futures for September delivery advanced 0.2 percent to settle at $3.1855 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has gained in five of the past six sessions.

A separate report today showed U.S. consumer confidence matched a five-year high. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index improved to minus 27.3 in the week ended July 21, matching the highest since January 2008.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.6 percent to $7,015 a metric ton ($3.18 a pound).

Tin fell 0.7 percent to $19,375 a ton on the LME. Indonesia’s PT Timah, the third-biggest producer, said that sales may drop 18 percent in 2013 as global demand ebbs.

This year, tin has slumped 17 percent, the most among LME metals. Aluminum, nickel and zinc fell today, while lead rose.

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