Copper held above $5,000 a metric ton, heading for the first quarterly advance since June 2014, as improved sentiment in China bolstered base metals prices and iron ore while supporting a rally in local equities.
Copper for three-month delivery rose as much as 0.6 percent to $5,074 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, and traded at $5,040 at 12:07 p.m in Shanghai. The metal used to make cables and tubes advanced 1.5 percent last week, gaining to $5,131 on Friday, the highest intraday price since November.
The metal has risen about 7 percent since the start of the year as concern about China’s slowdown abated, bolstering the outlook for demand in the largest user. On Monday, iron ore futures in China headed for the highest close in a year while stocks in Shanghai gained after signs of improvement in the property market. The advance in 2016 has also been supported by accommodative U.S. monetary policy and a weaker dollar.
“Metals were encouraged, even as their prices are weaker than iron ore and the stock market,” said Zhang Yu, a senior analyst at Yongan Futures Co. in Hangzhou. “There are some signals in the physical market that demand is gradually recovering, offsetting worries on record stockpiles in China.”
Copper ended lower on Friday, reversing gains from the four-month high, after a report showed record inventories in Shanghai. Scrap-copper imports by China fell last month to the lowest since at least 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on figures from the China General Administration of Customs. A breakdown of China’s commodities trade in February is due later Monday.
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Nickel, lead, aluminum and zinc also climbed on Monday as tin dropped.
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