Zinc Posts Longest Streak of Gains in Two Years; Copper Rises

  • Durable goods in U.S. rises, bolstering metal demand outlook
  • Copper poised for its first advance in four sessions

Zinc rose for a seventh session in its longest rally in almost two years, while copper and other industrial metals advanced as an increase in U.S. factory orders helped boost demand prospects.

Zinc, used for rustproofing steel in everything from auto bodies to suspension bridges, is outperforming other metals as banks from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Macquarie Group Ltd. anticipate gains on prospects for a shortage. Bookings at U.S. factories rose 1.9 percent in April, up from 1.7 percent in March, with durable-goods orders gaining, government data Friday showed.

“There’s a lot of bullish things going for zinc, copper, aluminum -- all the stuff used in durable goods,” Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Zaner Group LLC, a metals broker in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Zinc for delivery in three months gained 0.5 percent to settle at $1,992 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Prices earlier reached $2,013, the highest since July, and are up more than 5 percent this week.

An index of 18 base-metals companies tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence headed for its biggest increase since April 20, led by Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd., Vale SA and Glencore Plc.

In other prices and stockpiles:

  • Copper gained 1.7 percent to $4,688 a ton on the LME, after falling in the past three days.
  • Copper stockpiles in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell for a fourth week to the lowest since Jan. 21.
  • Aluminum inventories monitored by the LME slumped for a 56th day, the longest streak since 2000.
  • Aluminum, nickel, lead and tin climbed on the LME. On the Comex in New York, copper futures for July delivery also advanced.
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