Copper Advances to Four-Month High on Chinese Growth Optimism

  • Metal set for best week since October; tin at 11-month high
  • Glencore jumps 17% this week as mining stocks extend rally

Copper climbed to the highest in almost four months, heading for its biggest weekly advance since October, on speculation China will announce more measures to bolster growth in the biggest user.

Prices rose a fourth day, the longest run since October, and most main contracts gained on the London Metal Exchange. China is expected to announce plans to revive growth when an annual meeting of the National People’s Congress gets under way on Saturday.

The LME’s gauge of six metals has advanced 4.9 percent this year, rebounding from a third annual drop in 2015 when China’s slowdown cut demand and exacerbated gluts. Glencore Plc, the top copper supplier, has jumped 17 percent this week to the highest since August. Its billionaire Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said this week that commodity prices have bottomed and sales to China are “pretty good.”

Copper “fundamentals are still very good," Casper Burgering, an analyst at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam, said by phone. "Demand is still growing. There will be no surplus this year. That’s a good case for the copper price going forward for 2016."

Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 1.6 percent to $4,933 a metric ton, the highest since Nov. 12, and was at $4,923 by 1:05 p.m. on the LME. It’s up 4.7 percent this week, the most since Oct. 9. Tin climbed to an 11-month high and nickel traded at the highest since December.

Higher prices helped mining stocks rally to a four-month high. The FTSE 350 Mining Index gained 4.6 percent, up a sixth day in the longest stretch since October. Acacia Mining Plc led the advance with a 7.5 percent increase, while Swiss trader and producer Glencore added 5.2 percent.

"Further good news will be required today if these rallies are to be maintained as we approach the end of the week,” Malcolm Freeman, a director of West Malling, England-based brokerage Kingdom Futures Ltd., said in an e-mailed note. “You would logically expect profit taking to come in.”

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