Copper Climbs for Second Straight Day on Improving U.S. Outlook

Apr 17, 2014 2:23 pm ET

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper advanced for a second straight day in New York as demand prospects improved with signs of stronger economic growth in the U.S., the world’s second- largest user.

Fewer people filed claims for unemployment benefits last week than economists forecast, according to a government report today, adding to signs of recovery in the labor market. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Americans grew more upbeat about the economy. Copper has rallied 5.5 percent from a 44-month low last month.

“Copper is moving up with the bullish economic news that we’ve had,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for delivery in July gained 0.6 percent to settle at $3.034 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices climbed 1.1 percent yesterday.

Trading was 26 percent below the 100-day average for this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Comex is closed tomorrow for Good Friday.

“Holiday-based trading has damped a lot of the volatility that you normally see,” Klopfenstein said.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.5 percent to $6,649 a metric ton ($3.02 a pound). The LME is closed tomorrow and April 21 for the Easter holidays.

Nickel increased 0.4 percent to $17,925 a ton on the LME. Yesterday, the metal touched $18,105, the highest in almost 14 months.

Aluminum, tin and zinc fell in London, while lead was unchanged.

China is the biggest copper consumer.

--With assistance from Alex Davis in Hong Kong and Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London.