Bloomberg News

Copper Futures Rise as Manufacturing Gains in China, U.S., India

February 02, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures rose, snapping a three-session slump, as manufacturing gains in Asia and the U.S. bolstered prospects for metal demand.

In January, a purchasing managers’ index gained in China, the world’s top copper buyer. A similar measure for India climbed at the fastest pace in eight months. Manufacturing in the U.S., the second-biggest consumer of the metal, expanded at the quickest pace in seven months as orders and exports accelerated, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

“Global manufacturing was good overall, so that’s giving copper some strength,” Fain Shaffer, the president of Infinity Trading Corp. in Medford, Oregon, said in a telephone interview. “The key with the U.S. report was new orders, and that’s encouraging.”

Copper futures for March delivery climbed 1.4 percent to settle at $3.842 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal dropped 2.9 percent in the previous three sessions.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.4 percent to $8,440 a metric ton ($3.83 a pound).

Aluminum, lead, nickel and zinc also rose in London. Tin fell.

Last month, an LME index of the six industrial metals rose 11 percent, the biggest January gain since 2006. The Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep U.S. interest rates at a record low through late 2014 helped boost prices.

--With assistance from Unni Krishnan in New Delhi and Shobhana Chandra in Washington. Editors: Millie Munshi, Thomas Galatola

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net; Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net;

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


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