Copper Futures Advance as China’s Imports Jump to 18-Month High

Copper futures rose for the third straight session after imports jumped to an 18-month high in China, the world’s biggest user of the metal.

Shipments of unwrought copper and products rose 18 percent to 457,850 metric tons in September, customs data showed Oct. 12. That was the highest since March 2012. Prices also increased after inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange declined for a 28th straight session.

“People had been discounting China, so any type of news that looks positive for the economy there is going to be supportive for copper,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for delivery in December added 1 percent to settle at $3.303 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal gained 1.2 percent in the previous two sessions.

Inventories monitored by the LME are at the lowest since March, daily exchange data showed.

Copper also rose as the dollar weakened for a second session against a 10-currency basket, boosting the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment. U.S. government borrowing authority is set to lapse in three days unless politicians agree to increase the debt ceiling.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months increased 0.8 percent to $7,255 a metric ton ($3.29 a pound).

Lead, nickel and zinc climbed in London. Tin and aluminum fell.

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