Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Copper traded near a nine-week high in New York amid signs that economies are recovering in some of the world’s leading consumers of the metal.
Growth in Germany, the third-biggest copper user, and France was stronger than economists predicted in the second quarter, official data showed today. Retail sales in the U.S., ranking second among copper consumers, climbed for a fourth month in July, the government reported yesterday.
“The idea is that the European recession is over is one of the main things working to be supportive of prices,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “For the time being, the market does look to be fairly bullish.”
Copper futures for delivery in December advanced 0.6 percent to settle at $3.3425 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after reaching $3.344. Prices yesterday touched $3.347, the highest for a most-active contract since June 6.
Most of the workers at Escondida in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine, agreed to a one-day strike tomorrow, according to a labor union.
Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange declined for a 21st session to 588,450 metric tons, remaining at the lowest since April 10. Orders to remove the metal from warehouses slipped 0.1 percent to 313,825 tons.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months added 0.6 percent to $7,318 a ton ($3.32 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, zinc, tin and lead also rose in London.
--With assistance from Sungwoo Park in Seoul. Editors: Steve Stroth, Thomas Galatola