Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Copper climbed for a second day while the other industrial metals declined as investors weighed the implications of an inconclusive election in Italy and the possibility of stronger demand from China in March.
Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.6 percent to $7,880 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,848 at 2:18 p.m. Shanghai time. Nickel dropped 0.6 percent to $16,610, falling for a second day.
Italy’s election triggered renewed concern over Europe’s debt crisis, sending the euro to trade near the lowest level in six weeks against the dollar, as the Dollar Index gained as much as 0.3 percent today. Consumption of metals usually rises in March as fabricators in China resume operations after the Lunar New Year holidays and temperatures rise in northern parts of the country.
“Given the upcoming seasonal demand, prices should find some support at the current levels,” He Shan, an analyst at Galaxy Futures Co., said by phone from Beijing. “Still, concerns over Europe and China’s property controls are limiting demand.”
The government in Beijing completed a draft of property- control measures, Shanghai Securities News reported today. The city of Guangzhou also plans to announce housing curbs, the report said.
Copper for May delivery on the Comex in New York gained as much as 0.4 percent to $3.5765 per pound before trading little changed at $3.5630. Futures for June delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were little changed at 57,310 yuan ($9,198) a ton.
--Helen Sun. Editors: Brett Miller, Jarrett Banks