Copper Jumps Most in Five Weeks on China Economic Data

Copper prices jumped the most in five weeks in London as the economy expanded more than forecast in China, the world’s top user of industrial metals.

Gross domestic product increased 7.3 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, topping the average estimate of 7.2 percent by analysts, Chinese government data showed today. Industrial output rose 8 percent in September, exceeding forecasts. Last week, a government official said the central bank is considering a 200 billion yuan ($32.7 billion) stimulus plan. As of Oct. 14, hedge funds bet on a drop in New York copper futures and options for the fourth straight week.

“Between the Chinese GDP being better than expected, stimulus talk in the last couple days in China and money managers being net short, we’re seeing a little bit of a short-covering rally,” Graham Leighton, a trader at Marex Spectron Group in New York, said in a telephone interview.

Copper for delivery in three months climbed 1.7 percent to close at $6,669 a metric ton ($3.03 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, the biggest gain since Sept. 16.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for December delivery rose 1.3 percent to $3.028 a pound. The price has dropped 11 percent this year.

In London, nickel fell 0.5 percent to $15,300 a ton. Earlier, the price touched $15,080, the lowest since March 10. Aluminum, lead and tin gained, while zinc declined.

Nickel will swing into a “substantial shortfall” next year, Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA, said today in a presentation at an industry conference in London. The price has climbed 10 percent in 2014 after Indonesia banned ore exports.

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