Copper Advances to 7-Week High as China Data Beats Estimates

Copper climbed to the highest level in seven weeks after trade data in China, the biggest user, exceeded analyst estimates. Aluminum, nickel, tin, zinc and lead gained.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.3 percent to $7,170 a metric ton, the highest since June 17, and was at $7,155 a ton at 4:21 p.m. in Shanghai. Metal for delivery in November on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 2.9 percent to close at 51,510 yuan ($8,416) a ton.

Shipments abroad rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing today. That compares with the median estimate for a 2 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey and June’s 3.1 percent drop. Imports advanced 10.9 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $17.8 billion. The government signaled last month that it will defend its 7.5 percent economic-growth target for the year after expansion slowed for a second quarter.

“The metals market was encouraged by a series of positive economic data recently from China,” said Lin Hui, head of research department at Orient Futures Co. “People are expecting stable growth in China in the second half.”

China’s copper imports rose to a 14-month high of 410,680 tons in July, gaining for a third straight month, according to customs data. That compared with 379,951 tons in June and 366,548 tons a year ago.

Metal for delivery in September jumped 2.5 percent to $3.2525 a pound on the Comex in New York.

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