Copper Caps Biggest Gain in 2016 as China Stocks, Oil Rally

  • `China is still importing a lot of copper,' Richard Fu says
  • Freeport-McMoRan shares rebound from lowest since 2000

Copper futures gained the most this year as crude oil advanced and China stocks rebounded from the brink of a bear market.

Chinese stocks rebounded in a late-day swing as smaller companies pledged to stabilize the market, shoring up the outlook for demand in the Asian nation, the world’s biggest user of the metal. Copper bears also took a breather as crude-oil futures advanced, signaling a break in energy-price declines that are cutting mining costs and helping sustain the outlook for further metals gluts.

“Today, you see stocks in China, the U.K. and the U.S. going higher, and the metals are also following,” Richard Fu, head of Asia & Pacific at Amalgamated Metal Trading Ltd. in London, said in a telephone interview. Also, copper and oil prices “have been moving in tandem with each other for some time,” he said.

Copper futures for March delivery climbed 1 percent to settle at $1.976 a pound at 1:12 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since Dec. 29. Prices are down 7.4 percent this year.

Data this week showed purchases of unwrought copper and copper products in China were the second highest on record in December.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the world’s biggest publicly traded copper miner, gained 8.6 percent to $4.06, rebounding from the lowest since 2000 earlier this week.

Copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin advanced on the London Metal Exchange.

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