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Copper advanced after data showed a jump in U.S. imports and on speculation that an economic recovery in Europe may increase demand for metals.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $8,095.25 a metric ton, before trading at $8,089.75 at 11:38 a.m. in Shanghai. It declined 0.5 percent last week.
U.S. imports gained 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion in November, the most since April, while exports increased 1 percent to $182.6 billion. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Jan. 11 that the euro-area is “over the worst of the crisis.”
“These are solid signs that the global economy is on the upward trajectory, helping to improve market sentiment,” said Ma Jian, an analyst at Orient Futures Co. in Shanghai.
Futures for April delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange traded little changed at 58,370 yuan ($9,385) a ton. Copper for March delivery on the Comex in New York rose 0.6 percent to $3.6750 per pound. Net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, held by funds rose to 20,165 futures and options contracts as of Jan. 8 from 15,924 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
On the LME, aluminum and zinc also gained, while lead, nickel and tin were little changed.
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