Copper Rises as World Bank Boosts Economic Outlook; Nickel Gains

Jan 15, 2014 1:51 pm ET

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Copper prices advanced in London on speculation that an improving global economy will increase demand. Nickel rose to a 10-week high on concern that supplies will tighten as Indonesian bans ore exports.

The World Bank raised this year’s global-growth forecast to 3.2 percent from 3 percent in June as prospects in the 18- country euro area improved, while the U.S. was expected to expand twice as fast as Japan. Concerns that production would exceed demand helped send copper prices down 7.2 percent last year.

“Signs of increasing global growth could lend some underlying support for copper,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Copper for delivery in three months gained 1 percent to settle at $7,352.50 a metric ton ($3.34 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Futures for March delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $3.358 a pound on the Comex in New York.

Inventories monitored by the LME declined for the 50th straight session, the longest slump since 2004, to a one-year low.

Nickel rose 1.4 percent to $14,535 a ton on the LME. Earlier, the price reached $14,622, the highest since Nov. 1. The metal advanced for the fourth straight session amid concern that production may fall short of demand next year because of Indonesia’s ban on ore exports.

Lead, zinc, tin and aluminum gained in London.

--Editor: Patrick McKiernan