June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Copper prices rose, capping the biggest weekly gain in two months, on speculation that demand will grow in China, the world's number-one metals consumer.
Industrial production in China jumped 16.5 percent in May, and retail sales rose 8.7 percent, according to government reports. Copper also gained after a private survey showed confidence among U.S. consumers rose in June to the highest level in more than two years.
"China remains an unerringly bullish influence on the copper market," analysts at Societe Generale, led by the head of commodity research, Frederic Lasserre, said today in a report.
Copper futures for July delivery rose 4.15 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.904 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal gained 3 percent this week, the most since April 2.
Gains were limited as a report showed sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly dropped in May. The metal is down 13 percent this year on concerns that demand may decline.
"Copper is very tied to the outlook for the economy, and China is at the forefront of that," said Lannie Cohen, the president of Capitol Commodity Services in Indianapolis. "China still looks strong, but the retail sales numbers were disappointing. The market will be a little choppy."
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months added 1.1 percent to $6,479 a metric ton ($2.95 a pound). Nickel and zinc prices also gained. Aluminum, lead and tin fell.