Copper Touches 3-Week High Amid Stronger Chinese Economic Data

(Bloomberg) -- Copper futures touched the highest in three weeks amid signs that demand may improve in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal.

Copper analysts and traders are bullish because of recent Chinese data, according to a Bloomberg survey. The nation’s broadest measure of new credit surpassed estimates in August, bolstering evidence that growth is stabilizing.

“Economic data in China was surprisingly robust as of recently” Eugen Weinberg, the head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $2.1595 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $2.1635, the highest intraday price since Aug. 22.

The metal also advanced as global stockpiles on the London Metal Exchange, Comex and Shanghai Futures Exchange fell for a third straight day, the longest losing streak since July 26.

Traders see about a 50 percent chance that the U.S. Federal Reserve, which meets next week, will raise interest rates this year. That’s up from 45 percent a month ago. Economists are divided over whether the Bank of Japan will add to unprecedented stimulus when it reviews policy on Sept. 21. Bank of England policy makers indicated on Thursday there’s still a chance of another rate cut this year.

In other metals news:

  • Aluminum, nickel, tin, zinc and lead fell on the LME.
  • Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to $4,781 a metric ton ($2.17 a pound) in London.