Copper Heads for Weekly Advance on U.S. Spending Bill

Copper headed for a second weekly gain on speculation demand is supported by the world’s largest users of the metal as the U.S. House narrowly passed a spending bill and amid expectations China’s slowdown may spur stimulus.

Copper reversed earlier losses and rose as much 0.3 percent after the House passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure hours before government funding was set to run out. The Senate may approve it as soon as today. Industrial production in China grew by 7.2 percent in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That’s below the 7.5 percent forecast in a Bloomberg News survey before data today.

“The market won’t worry about risks of a government shutdown in the U.S. for a while,” said Lian Zheng, the head of the metals research at Xinhu Futures Co. in Shanghai. “Government shutdowns cost the U.S. in lost economic output and damps trading sentiment.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as $19.50 to $6,482 a metric ton and was at $6,472.75 at 3 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal was poised to rise 0.3 percent this week after a 1.6 percent gain last week.

In New York, March futures were little changed at $2.923 a pound, while the metal for February delivery in Shanghai gained 0.4 percent to close at 46,380 yuan ($7,489) a ton.

Chinese industrial production slowed for a second month in November. China’s policy makers lowered their economic growth target for 2015, China Business News reported today, without saying by how much. The country is forecast to expand by 7 percent next year, the slowest pace since 1990, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

‘More Stimulus’

“Clearly these numbers further confirm the slowdown in the Chinese economy continues,” James Glenn, a senior economist at National Australia Bank, said in an e-mail. “Given the magnitude of the slowdown, the market will be looking for signs of more stimulus”

The workers union at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Cerro Matoso nickel mine in Colombia retracted a strike threat after a judge ruled against the decision to increase work shifts to 12 hours. The metal used to make stainless steel advanced as much as 1 percent in London to $16,450 a ton.

Lead, aluminum and tin on the LME gained while zinc declined.

— With assistance by Alfred Cang

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