Aluminum led metals higher in London after the Easter holiday as U.S. home sales climbed, boosting demand prospects, and a weaker dollar made commodities cheaper in other currencies.
The metal used in everything from aircraft to window frames advanced the most in more than a week, adding 1.9 percent to $1,504 a metric ton before trading at $1,503 by 10:40 a.m. in Shanghai. Copper, zinc and lead rose. Aluminum futures in Shanghai increased 1.2 percent to a six-month high.
In the U.S., the second-largest copper user, contract signings for home sales climbed 3.5 percent in February, beating the median estimate of 1.2 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The Copper Development Association in New York estimates construction accounts for about 40 percent of the metal’s use.
“Stronger home sales in the U.S. are of course supporting metals prices, while China is in the peak season for demand,” Jia Zheng, chief metals analyst with East Asia Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. The advance in London metals also tracked Shanghai prices, which mostly rose during the two-day Easter holiday in Europe, Jia said.
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A gauge of the dollar snapped a six-day rally Monday as traders weighed the potential for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, was little changed Tuesday after sliding 0.4 percent a day earlier.
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