Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures rose for the second straight session after imports of refined metal last month surged a 19-month high in China, the world’s biggest consumer.
Shipments jumped 32 percent to 347,305 metric tons from August, Chinese customs data showed today. That marked the highest since February 2012. A report last week showed China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters.
“It looks like a safe bet that China has bottomed out and that we’ll start seeing good growth again,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “News like this will push copper to the top of its recent trading range.”
Copper futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $3.3035 a pound at 1:12 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal climbed 0.9 percent last week.
Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange fell for the 33rd straight session, the longest slump since July 2009, to 494,850 metric tons, the lowest since March.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months slipped less than 0.1 percent to $7,244 a ton ($3.29 a pound). Aluminum, lead, tin and zinc gained.
Nickel rose 1.2 percent to $14,365 a ton. Earlier, the price reached $14,500, the highest since Aug. 28. The metal’s 50-day moving average climbed above the 100-day moving average, forming a “golden cross,” a bullish indicator to traders who study charts of price patterns. The market in 2014 is set for a fourth year of surplus.
Nickel “looks short-term positive,” Andrew Silver, a broker at Triland Metals Ltd. in London, said in an e-mail.
--With assistance from Nicholas Larkin and Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London and Alfred Cang in Shanghai. Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi