Industrial metals including copper and lead climbed after the European Central Bank reduced interest rates to a record and U.S. filings for unemployment benefit fell to a five-year low, boosting the outlook for demand.
Copper for delivery in three months rallied as much as 1 percent to $6,916.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, and traded at $6,909.50 at 10:26 a.m. in Shanghai. It has lost 1.7 percent this week, the sixth decline in seven, on concern that economic growth in China, the largest user, may falter.
The ECB cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.5 percent from 0.75 percent. In the U.S., applications for unemployment- insurance payments fell 18,000 to 324,000 in the week to April 27, the fewest since January 2008, while consumer sentiment climbed to the highest in more than five years. The U.S. is the second-largest consumer of the metal used in pipes and wires.
“The good economic data from the U.S. aided the technical rebound for metals,” Xu Liping, an analyst at HNA Topwin Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “We are still in a sell-on-rally environment as growth in China, which accounts for 40 percent of the global consumption, is in question.”
Copper for delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.6 percent to 50,000 yuan ($8,119) a ton. The July contract on the Comex gained 0.6 percent to $3.1240 per pound.
China’s non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.5 from 55.6 in March, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
Lead futures in London rebounded after dropping into a bear market yesterday amid concern that global growth may slow. The metal climbed as much as 1.5 percent to $1,970 a ton and traded at $1,967.50. It remains on course for a weekly loss.
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