Copper Futures Advance as U.S. Recovery Buoys Demand Outlook

Aug 25, 2014 3:12 pm ET

Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose to a two-week high in New York amid signs of a strengthening economic recovery in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of industrial metals.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s national index, a weighted average of 85 economic indicators, climbed to 0.39 in July, topping the 0.2 median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Data last week showing gains in housing starts and existing-home sales helped mute the impact of a drop in July new-home purchases in government figures released today, said David Meger at Vision Financial Markets.

“The market still believes the ongoing U.S. economic recovery is going to support strong copper demand here,” Meger, director of metals trading at Vision, said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

Copper futures for December delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $3.237 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $3.246, the highest for a most-active contract since Aug. 11.

Trading was delayed as CME Group Inc., the largest futures market, suspended the start of almost all of its Globex electronic-trading markets because of a technical issue.

The Copper Development Association estimates that the average single-family home uses 439 pounds (199 kilograms) of the metal, used for wires and plumbing. China is the biggest consumer.

The London Metal Exchange is closed today for a public holiday.

--With assistance from Alex Davis in Hong Kong.