GDP boosts copper

Copper advanced in London, snapping three sessions of losses, as a rebounding U.S. economy signaled stronger demand in the world’s second-largest user of the metal.

Gross domestic product rose at a 4 percent annualized rate last quarter after shrinking 2.1 percent from January through March, government figures showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, rose 2.5 percent, reflecting the largest gain in purchases of durable goods such as automobiles in almost five years.

“Copper could get a boost on that type of news,” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Improving economic conditions should boost demand for all base metals.”

Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.4 percent to $7,112 a metric ton ($3.23 a pound) by 2:03 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. On the Comex in New York, futures for delivery in September advanced 0.9 percent to $3.2465 a pound.

Scrap-metal buyers are “becoming very aggressive and willing to spend more to get used materials to sell to refineries” amid rising demand in construction during the summer, Tom Buechel, owner of Rockaway Recycling, a dealer in Rockaway, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

China is the biggest copper consumer.

Aluminum and nickel climbed in London while zinc, lead and tin fell.

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