Copper Set for Biggest Weekly Gain in 6 Months on Supply

Copper headed for the biggest weekly advance in six months on concern that supplies from global mines will trail forecasts and amid speculation demand may increase in China, the biggest user of industrial metals.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange added as much as 1 percent to $6,630 a metric ton and was at $6,615 at 4:09 p.m. in Tokyo. The price has risen 2.1 percent this week, the most since the five-day period to Sept. 20. The metal is still down 5.6 percent this month, set for the biggest such drop since June.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is producing at about 50 percent of capacity at Indonesia’s Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine. A company controlled by Rio Tinto Group cut its forecast for output from Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi. Copper has declined 10 percent this quarter, heading for the first such loss since the period ended in June.

“Recent reports of lower mine output lent support to copper amid expectations for a pick-up in demand from China in coming months,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.

Demand in China is starting to emerge from industries including construction and power, and some fabricators are considering buying more copper due to increased orders and lower prices, according to a survey by Macquarie Group Ltd.

The Comex contract for delivery in May added 0.9 percent to $3.0185 a pound in New York. In Shanghai, futures for delivery in June advanced 1.6 percent to close at 46,450 yuan ($7,481) a ton.

Nickel in London rose for the first time in three days, paring its first weekly drop since the end of January.

On the LME, aluminum, zinc, tin and lead also climbed.

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