Copper Gains as Signs of Economic Rebound Buoy Demand Outlook

Jan 17, 2014 2:26 pm ET

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose in London, capping the first weekly gain since December, amid speculation that demand for the metal will strengthen as economies accelerate.

The pace of U.S. home construction last year was the fastest since 2007, government data showed today. Building accounts for about 40 percent of demand, according to the Copper Development Association. The World Bank lifted its forecast for 2014 global economic growth this week to 3.2 percent from a June projection of 3 percent.

“Demand can be expected to rise quite substantially once the global economy picks up speed again,” Commerzbank AG analysts including Frankfurt-based Daniel Briesemann said in a report. “The market is overestimating supplies.”

Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.4 percent to settle at $7,340 a metric ton ($3.33 a pound) at 5:52 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The metal climbed 0.5 percent this week, the first advance since Dec. 27. Prices may reach $8,000 by year-end, Commerzbank said.

Stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.3 percent to 335,775 tons, the lowest in a year.

Nickel for delivery in three months was unchanged at $14,695 a ton in London. The metal advanced 6 percent this week, the biggest increase since Feb. 1, after Indonesia barred exports of unprocessed mineral ores. The Asian nation is the world’s largest producer of nickel from mines.

Aluminum, lead and zinc rose in London. Tin fell.

In New York, copper futures for delivery in March added 0.1 percent to $3.3445 a pound on the Comex.

--With assistance from Alfred Cang in Shanghai and Jae Hur in Tokyo. Editors: Joe Richter, Millie Munshi