Copper Rises on Surprise Jump in Pending U.S. Home Resales, Supply Concern


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By Yi Tian

Copper prices rose to the highest in almost three weeks after an index of pending U.S. home resales jumped a record 10 percent in October.

The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 1 percent decrease in the gauge from the National Association of Realtors. Copper inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange extended a slide to the lowest in almost 14 months, and a strike at a Chilean mine is completing the fourth week. The price has rallied 38 percent since July 1.

“Supply is going to be the main focus of the market,” said Richard Ilczyszyn, a market strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago. “Copper will really start to cook again” should the economic recovery prove to be sustainable, he said.

Copper futures for March delivery climbed 3.15 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $3.979 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the fourth straight gain. Earlier, the price reached $3.997, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months climbed $135, or 1.6 percent, to $8,720 a metric ton ($3.96 a pound). The metal reached a record $8,966 on Nov. 11. On that date, the Comex price reached a 30-month high of $4.0875.

In London, zinc jumped 4.6 percent, the most in four months. Lead gained 4.6 percent, and tin advanced 3 percent, the most in six weeks. Aluminum and nickel also rose.

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