Copper Rebounds From 14-Week Low as New-Home Sales Surge

Copper futures rose from a 14-week low after a government report showed new-home sales jumped to the highest in more than six years in the U.S., the second-largest consumer of the metal.

Home purchases in August surged 18 percent to a 504,000 annualized pace, the strongest since May 2008 and surpassing the highest forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, government data showed today. Copper dropped in the previous five sessions, partly on signs that the housing market is sputtering in China, the top user of industrial metals.

The U.S. data “rescued copper for the moment,” Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for December delivery gained 0.6 percent to settle at $3.0535 a pound at 1:08 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price touched $3.023, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 16.

Trading was 13 percent above the average in the past 100 days at this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Copper Development Association says that construction accounts for about 40 percent of the metal’s use.

Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $6,742 a metric ton ($3.06 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange.

The price has dropped 8.4 percent this year. Today, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast a “major” increase in inventories in the next six months. Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in Shanghai, London and New York have dropped 48 percent this year.

Aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin prices rose in London.

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