Freeport Paces Mining-Share Gains as Jump in Crude Boosts Metals

  • Freeport among leaders on S&P 500 as Cowen raises forecast
  • BofAML upgrades Anglo two steps, almost doubles price estimate

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. surged and a gauge of miners’ shares headed for the biggest gain in more than three weeks after a crude-oil rally boosted metals and analysts lifted price targets on some companies.

Crude rose to a six-month high amid supply disruptions in Nigeria and increased demand. Freeport was among leaders in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities as Cowen & Co. raised its forecast to $15 a share from $10. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 raw materials rose as much as 1 percent, while all six of the main metals traded in London advanced.

“The commodities complex seems to be marching higher under the leadership of oil,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail. “When the commodity index rises -- oil being the largest component -- copper needs to be bought, too.”

Copper futures for July delivery added 0.7 percent to settle at $2.089 a pound at 1:10 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain in more than two weeks. In London, copper, zinc, aluminum, nickel, lead and tin were higher.

More-expensive oil boosts production costs, deterring miners from increasing output as the market struggles to unwind excess metal supplies.

A gauge of 18 producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence added 2.3 percent, heading for the biggest gain since April 20. Phoenix-based Freeport, the world’s biggest publicly traded copper miner, advanced 5.9 percent to $11.02 in New York trading.

In other metals news:

  • Anglo American Plc was one of the top performers in the Bloomberg World Mining Index Monday after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its recommendation on the shares to a buy from underperform.
  • Aluminum for delivery in three months climbed on the London Metal Exchange after output in China contracted from a year earlier, helping to ease fears that rising supply in the world’s biggest maker will swamp demand.
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