July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Copper may rise on speculation that a decline in inventories to a seven-month low signals steady demand.
Eight of 15 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 53 percent, said the metal will gain next week. Five predicted lower prices and two forecast little change. Copper for delivery in three months was 4.4 percent higher for this week at $6,691 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:30 p.m. yesterday.
Stockpiles of copper monitored by the LME yesterday slid to the lowest level since Nov. 30. They're down 13 percent this year, on course for the first annual decline since 2004. Bookings to remove metal from warehouses have surged more than 12-fold in 2010.
"These two factors have been indicating rising demand for several months now," Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report yesterday. "If general market sentiment remains positive and the focus of market players remains on this positive microdata, this should support metal prices."
The red bars on the attached chart are derived by subtracting bearish forecasts from bullish estimates, with readings below zero signaling the majority of respondents expect a decline. The green line shows the copper price. The survey data shown are as of July 2.
The weekly copper survey has forecast prices accurately in 46 of the past 94 weeks, or 49 percent of the time.
This week's survey results: Bullish: 8 Bearish: 5 Hold: 2