Copper Gains as Expansion in U.S. Manufacturing Signals Demand

Sep 02, 2014 1:46 pm ET

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Copper advanced in London as U.S. manufacturing expanded at the quickest clip in three years and construction spending rebounded, signaling increased demand.

The Institute for Supply Management’s August factory gauge climbed to the highest since March 2011 as orders grew by the most in a decade, according to a report today. U.S. government data showed construction spending increased more than analysts forecast in July. The nation is the world’s largest copper consumer after China.

“The fact that you’re seeing better economic news out of the U.S. is a bullish sign,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc., said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

Copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.4 percent on the London Metal Exchange to settle at $6,968 a metric ton ($3.16 a pound).

Copper futures for delivery in December slid 0.2 percent to $3.155 a pound at 1:16 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

The Copper Development Association says that construction accounts for about 40 percent of the metal’s use.

Stockpiles in warehouses monitored by the LME dropped 0.1 percent to 147,825 tons, the third consecutive decline. Inventories have slid 60 percent this year.

Aluminum, lead and zinc advanced on the LME, while nickel and tin declined.

--With assistance from Claudia Carpenter in London.