Copper Advances as Equities Rebound, China Metal Imports Surge

Copper futures capped the biggest gain in three weeks in New York as a rebound in equities and an increase in Chinese imports of the metal signaled stronger demand.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities climbed as much as 0.7 percent in New York, the first rise in four days. Refined copper imports into China, the world’s biggest user, advanced 27 percent last month, a government report showed today. The metal also rose as the dollar fell against the euro, boosting the appeal of commodities as alternative investments.

“Copper is up with equities and weakness in the dollar,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. The China report showed “strong numbers from a major player in the copper market,” he said.

Copper futures for delivery in March rallied 1 percent to settle at $3.199 a pound at 1:22 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since Oct. 30.

Codelco, the biggest producer, will raise the fee it charges Chinese buyers to $138 a metric ton in 2014 from $98 this year as demand strengthens. The fee is added to the London Metal Exchange price.

Stockpiles monitored by the LME fell to the lowest since February, while on-warrant inventories, or those available for withdrawal, slid to 165,600 tons, the lowest since May 8, 2012.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.3 percent to $7,020 a ton ($3.18 a pound).

Aluminum and tin also gained in London, while lead, nickel and zinc were lower.

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