June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Copper climbed for a second day on signs that demand will be supported by consumption in China, the world's largest user, after cash prices gained and a report suggested that the nation's total exports surged more than expected last month. Aluminum, lead and nickel also spiked.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 1.4 percent to $6,249.50 a metric ton, reversing a loss, before trading at $6,236 at 3:08 p.m. in Singapore. China's exports jumped about 50 percent, Reuters reported, citing three unidentified people. The statistics bureau declined to comment.
"Demand in China has been robust, with the cash market well bid," said Li Peng, an analyst at Guotai Junan Futures. Cash prices, which fell to less than 50,000 yuan a ton yesterday for the first time since October, traded at about 50,125 yuan today in Changjiang, Shanghai's biggest cash market.
China's consumer prices rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier and new loans totaled 630 billion yuan ($92.3 billion), Reuters also reported. The three people cited in the report said a government official had stated the figures. China's stocks rose the most in more than two weeks after the Reuters filing.
All three numbers would be higher than economists' estimates ahead of the trade data set for release tomorrow and the consumer price index due June 11. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 32 percent gain in exports, a 3 percent gain in prices and 600 billion yuan of new loans.
Copper futures in Shanghai erased losses of as much as 0.6 percent to end the day 1.8 percent higher at 50,380 yuan a ton.
Copper in London is still down about 13 percent in the past month on speculation that Europe's debt crisis will hamper global economic growth. Fitch Ratings yesterday called the U.K.'s fiscal challenge "formidable," and suggested British Prime Minister David Cameron will need to speed up budget- deficit cuts to protect the country's top credit rating.
"Metals markets are at the mercy of investor sentiment, which has greatly weakened because of Europe's debt situation," said Li at Guotai Junan. "While any rally will probably be capped as we enter the weak-demand season, we should see re- stocking and higher imports come August."
China's imports of refined copper were 1.06 million tons in the first four months of this year, according to customs data, little changed from last year when state stockpiling and stimulus spending drove purchases.
Aluminum in London gained 1.3 percent to $1,944 a ton, lead rose 2.9 percent to $1,652 a ton, and nickel climbed 0.7 percent to $18,595 a ton. Tin added 0.6 percent to $16,050 a ton, while zinc fell 0.5 percent to $1,725 a ton.