Bloomberg News

Copper Advances as European Leaders Pledge Plan to Stem Crisis

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose to the highest in almost two weeks after the leaders of France and Germany pledged a plan to stem Europe’s debt crisis in three weeks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday they will deliver a plan to recapitalize European banks and address the Greek debt crisis by the Nov. 3 Group of 20 summit. Belgium said today it will buy part of Dexia SA and provide security for depositors as part of a plan to rescue the lender. U.S. equities rallied.

“News out of the euro zone looks to be constructive,” RBC Capital Markets LLC said today in a report. “We should continue to see a more positive view of commodities.”

Copper futures for December delivery climbed 2.9 percent to close at $3.368 a pound at 1:12 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $3.391, the highest since Sept. 28. The metal rose for a fourth straight session, the longest rally since late August.

In Indonesia, two workers from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg mine were shot by police after protesters burned three company vehicles, according to a police spokesman. A union official said one of workers died. About 8,000 workers, or 70 percent of the mine’s workforce excluding contractors, began a strike on Sept. 15 seeking higher wages.

“The strike at Grasberg seems to be escalating,” Commerzbank AG said in a report today. “Consequently, production shortages are increasingly likely, which is likely to intensify the already tight supply situation in the global copper market.”

The strike is halting about 3 million pounds (1,361 metric tons) of copper a day, Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan said in a Sept. 21 statement.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for three-month delivery gained 1.7 percent to $7,495 a metric ton ($3.40 a pound). Zinc, lead, tin, aluminum and nickel also rose in London.

--Editors: Daniel Enoch, Patrick McKiernan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net; Yi Tian in New York at ytian8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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