Copper rose for the first time in three days on expectations of more growth in the labor market of the U.S., the second-largest metals consumer.
The metal climbed as much as 1.2%. Companies in the U.S. added 208,000 workers in November after a 233,000 gain in October, ADP Research Institute said yesterday. Employers added 230,000 workers last month, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before tomorrow’s Labor Department non-farm payrolls report. That would be the 10th consecutive month the total topped 200,000.
“Comments from the Federal Reserve Beige Book yesterday were largely optimistic, with the report indicating that employment gains were widespread,” said Dee Perera, an analyst at broker Marex Spectron Group in London. “Base metals were well bid overnight.”
March copper futures climbed 0.9% to $2.899 a pound by 7:38 a.m. on the Comex in New York, with volumes 13% below the average over the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The metal for delivery in three months rose 0.8% to $6,433.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
A fire yesterday at an ore concentrator at Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine is being investigated, Tony Shaffer, a spokesman for Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which co-owns the facility, said in an e-mail. He declined to comment on the impact on production. The concentrator is a machine that separates waste rock from copper.
Nickel led gains in industrial metals, advancing as much as 2.2% to $16,958 a ton after climbing 1.6% yesterday following a decision by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court to uphold a ban on exporting unprocessed ores to spur investment in domestic processing.
The curbs have attracted mostly Chinese investment to build processing plants, with investors planning to construct six aluminum refineries and 30 nickel smelters through 2017, according to data from the nation’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
“Until these are completed, Indonesia will export only small quantities of nickel, which should cause the global nickel market to tighten,” Commerzbank analysts said in an e-mailed report today.
On the LME, aluminum, zinc, lead advanced while tin was little changed.