The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed 0.2 percent to $7,143 a metric ton at 11:48 a.m. Hong Kong time. Prices climbed 1.1 percent this week, the first gain since the period ended Jan. 17.
Stockpiles monitored by the LME shrank for a 15th day to 309,250 tons, the lowest since December 2012, exchange data showed yesterday. Chinese buyers returned as week-long holidays ended today, underpinning physical demand for the metal.
“With Chinese traders returning, liquidity for copper has increased and expectation of post-holiday demand lent support,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. The market was also supported by dwindling LME stockpiles and tight supplies, he said.
On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper for April delivery was little changed at 50,970 yuan a ton ($8,407). The metal for delivery in March on Comex in New York rose 0.4 percent to $3.2425 a pound.
On the LME, zinc and lead also advanced, while aluminum was little changed and nickel fell. Tin hadn’t traded.