Copper gained for the first time in three days on signs that demand will stay robust in the U.S. and China, the world’s top metals consumers. Nickel reached a nine-week high.
Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, government data showed today. The People’s Bank of China made a net injection of 30 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) this week, as the central bank ramps up efforts to revive growth, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Copper fell to a four-year low on Dec. 1 on concern that a cooling Chinese economy would reduce demand for the metal, used in pipes and wiring.
“Strong U.S. data is making people most optimistic about higher demand in the U.S.,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. Copper futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to settle at $2.9145 a pound at 1:16 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices have fallen 14 percent this year amid demand concerns.