Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) --Copper rebounded from a two-week low as improving U.S. economic data signaled that the recovery will continue to strengthen and lift metals demand.
Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in February at the fastest pace in seven years, and an index of U.S. leading indicators rose in January for a seventh straight month, separate reports showed today. The metal has jumped 38 percent in the past year as miners struggled to keep pace with increasing global consumption.
"Copper has good fundamentals, and the uptrend in prices is still intact,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, a senior strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago.
Copper futures for May delivery rose 1.45 cents, or 0.3 percent, to close at $4.497 a pound at 1:24 p.m. on the Comex in New York.
Earlier, the price touched $4.4275, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 31.
Futures touched a record $4.6575 on Feb. 15. The metal will make new highs within a month, Ilczyszyn said.
The global copper market’s surplus narrowed to 20,000 metric tons last year from 410,000 tons in 2009, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said yesterday. The average output of the world’s 10 largest publicly traded mining companies fell 4 percent in 2010 from a year earlier as ore grades declined, RBS Global Banking and Markets said in a report last week.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped $37, or 0.4 percent, to $9,805 a ton ($4.45 a pound).
Tin fell 2.6 percent to $31,650 a ton on the LME, the biggest decline since Nov. 22. Lead and nickel also dropped. Aluminum and zinc gained.