Copper rebounded from a two-month low as better-than-expected U.S. jobs and trade data and signs that China’s economy may be on the mend signaled improving demand in the world’s biggest metals users.
The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September on record exports, and fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits, government reports showed today. China’s central bank governor and statistics chief signaled that October data to be published from tomorrow will show growth improving this quarter.
“Jobless claims were better, and the trade data show that while the economy still has a long way to go, the positive numbers we have seen are probably going to hold,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for delivery in December rose 0.8 percent to settle at $3.4695 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices fell to $3.431 yesterday, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 31.
Reports tomorrow may show industrial production and retail sales strengthened last month in China, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.3 percent to $7,630 a metric ton ($3.46 a pound). Aluminum, tin, nickel, lead and zinc also climbed.
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