Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) --Copper rose to a record for a second day in London before a U.S. report that may signal growth in the world’s biggest economy as the Federal Reserve prepares to discuss interest rates and bond purchases.
U.S. retail sales in November probably jumped for a fifth consecutive month, economists said before a Commerce Department report today. The dollar fell today on speculation the Fed may signal it’s open to increasing debt purchases to boost growth.
U.S. fiscal stimulus and “improving economic data” are supporting copper, said David Thurtell, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in London.
Copper for delivery in three months rose as much as $37 to the all-time high of $9,262 a metric ton, and was at $9,259.75 a ton at 10:47 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Copper for delivery in March climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $4.227 a pound on the Comex in New York, the highest price for a most- active contract since May 2008.
The U.S. retail sales report is due at 1:30 p.m. London time.
Copper has gained 25 percent this year as declining stockpiles signaled more demand. German investor confidence improved for a second month in December as the recovery in Europe’s largest economy shows signs of broadening.
The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict developments six months ahead, increased to 4.3 from 1.8 in November. Economists expected a gain to 3.9, according to the median of 36 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.
LME inventories of copper have shrunk 30 percent this year, set for the first annual drop since 2004. They rose 450 tons to 350,900 tons today, daily exchange figures showed.
Open interest in the December LME copper contract is 15,347 contracts, each for 25 tons, or 383,675 tons in total.
The open interest on futures exceeds the total level of stocks in LME warehouses, so that’s keeping the tightness sustained,” said Robin Bhar, an analyst at Credit Agricole SA’s investment-banking unit in London.
The U.S. currency declined as much as 0.4 percent against a basket of currencies. A slumping dollar makes metals priced in the currency cheaper in terms of other monies and spurs demand for raw materials as an alternative investment.
Copper’s “probably going to be $5 a pound ($11,023 a ton) in a year’s time,” John Stephenson, a fund manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc., said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “There’s really no supply coming on ‘till 2012, 2013 in an appreciable way.”
Aurubis AG, Europe’s largest copper smelter, said copper demand will grow “further” next year, supported by global economic growth.
Immediate-delivery LME copper’s premium to three-month metal rose 63 percent yesterday to $70. Prices moved on Nov. 8 to a so-called backwardation, when nearby metal trades above longer-term contracts, potentially signaling supply concern.
The fee to borrow copper for next-day delivery, the so- called tom-next spread, jumped to a premium of $10 today, compared with a discount of $2 yesterday and the highest since July 2009. An increase in the fee usually indicates tightening supply.
Tin for three-month delivery on the LME rose 0.4 percent to $26,250 a ton. Prices reached a record $27,500 on Nov. 9. The metal has jumped 55 percent this year, leading advances on the exchange, after production was disrupted in Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Aluminum rose 0.8 percent to $2,350 a ton and nickel climbed 1.5 percent to $24,890 a ton. Lead gained 0.5 percent to $2,451 a ton and zinc added 0.9 percent to $2,343.25 a ton.