Copper Rises for Fourth Day on U.S. Rebound Speculation


"Stockpiles shrank the most in almost 11 months."

Copper rose for a fourth day in New York as stockpiles shrank the most in almost 11 months, adding to speculation of rebounding demand in the U.S.

Inventories of copper monitored by the London Metal Exchange fell 1%, the most since March 4. The decline took place entirely in the U.S., the world's second-biggest buyer of the metal. Consumer spending in the country accelerated in December, capping its strongest quarter in more than four years, Commerce Department figures today showed.

"Demand for copper is improving, particularly in the U.S.," said Alex Heath, head of industrial-metals trading at Royal Bank of Canada Europe Ltd. in London. "At the moment, fundamental factors are probably favoring continued investment in the base-metals sector."

Copper for March delivery climbed $0.045 cents, or 1%, to $4.418 a pound at 8:32 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are down 0.7% this month.

The metal traded in Shanghai climbed to the highest price May 2007, and the Shanghai composite index of stocks rose to a two-week high. China is the largest buyer of copper.

U.S. consumer purchases, which account for about 70% of the economy, rose 0.7% after a 0.3% gain in November, the Commerce Department said in Washington.

Aluminum, nickel, tin, zinc and copper all gained in London.

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