SINGAPORE, Oct. 26 -- Copper advanced for a third day to a 13-month high in Shanghai after stockpiles dropped for a fourth week in five as the world's largest metals user expanded at the fastest pace in a year. Zinc surged to the highest in 17 months.
The metal also gained after refined copper imports by China expanded for the first time in three months as increasing demand outweighed the higher cost of imports. Inventories of copper in Shanghai warehouses fell 4.2 percent to 95,976 metric tons last week, the Shanghai Futures Exchange reported after the market closed on Oct. 23. China's economy expanded 8.9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, data showed last week.
"Economic data has been positive for the metals market," said Zeng Chao, an analyst at Everbright Futures Co. "Expectations for a weaker dollar will also continue to drive commodities as a whole higher."
January-delivery copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added as much as 0.8 percent to 51,720 yuan ($7,575) a metric ton, the highest for a most-active contact since Sept. 26, 2008. It traded at 51,660 yuan at 10:37 a.m. local time. Zinc futures advanced to 17,070 yuan a ton, the highest since May 29, 2008.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange gained as much as 0.7 percent to $6,695 a ton and last traded at $6,683 a ton. It climbed to $6,714 a ton on Oct. 23, the highest price since Sept. 29, 2008, capping its best weekly performance since the week ending Aug. 7.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six trading partners including the euro and yen, fell for the first time in three days today as gains in Asian stocks damped demand for haven assets.
Among other LME-traded metals, aluminum rose 0.4 percent to $1,980 a ton, nickel climbed 1.6 percent to $19,300 a ton and tin added 0.4 percent to $15,200 a ton. Zinc increased 0.8 percent to $2,290 a ton, while lead added 1.6 percent to $2,397 as of 10:40 a.m. in Singapore.