Copper Advances as Weaker U.S. Data Signal Fed Rate Rise Delay

Copper Falls but What’s Impacting Demand?

Copper futures in New York gained for the third time in four sessions on speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay increasing interest rates, spurring demand for industrial metals.

U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in September, while wholesale prices declined by the most since the start of the year, posing a challenge for policy makers looking for signs that inflation will move back toward their 2 percent target before boosting borrowing costs. If officials keep rates low, it could help to stabilize growth.

The U.S. data “may prolong the Fed’s interest-rate hike decision, so more companies might be enticed to go out and borrow money and start new projects with low interest rates, causing demand for copper to rise,” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for December delivery advanced 1.2 percent to settle at $2.4155 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York, reversing a loss of as much as 0.4 percent earlier. On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained, while nickel, tin and lead advanced. Aluminum and zinc dropped on the LME.

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