Copper Caps Longest Rally in 18 Months as China Buoys Outlook

  • Better-than-expected China factory gauge spurs metal gains
  • Tin hits two-year high; zinc touches highest since 2011 on LME

Can the China-Driven Metals Rally Keep Going?

Copper climbed for a seventh session, the longest run of gains in almost 18 months, after an unexpected pickup in a Chinese factory gauge. Tin touched a two-year high.

China’s purchasing-managers index of activity at factories rose to a two-year high, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Tuesday, suggesting the economy’s stabilization continued into the fourth quarter as robust consumption underpins demand.

“The metals market is extremely geared toward China’s economic health, and the PMI numbers that came in will lend some support to the complex, copper in particular,” Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodities strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London, said by telephone. “A lot of these metals are still categorized by oversupply so this will come as welcome relief.”

Copper for three month delivery gained 1.4 percent to settle at $4,920 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after reaching $4,922, the highest since Aug. 2. Tin rose as much as 0.8 percent to $20,875 a ton, the highest since September 2014.

Nickel slipped while aluminum and lead rose in London. Zinc, which has gained 53 percent this year amid dwindling mine supply and resurgent demand, settled little changed after touching a five-year high.

— With assistance by Martin Ritchie, and Luzi-Ann Javier

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