Strong US Home Sales Data Gives Copper A Boost

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Copper gained for a second day in London on speculation that rising home sales signal improving demand in the US, the world’s second-largest metals user after top user China.

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Existing home sales last month climbed 2.4 percent from June to a 5.15 million annual pace, the most since September, the National Association of Realtors reported today. The median forecast of 74 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for 5.02 million. Builders are the biggest users of copper and use about 400 pounds in the average home.

Rising 0.8 percent to close at JPY 743,000 ($7,218) per metric ton, the cash price of Japanese copper experienced the biggest change for Wednesday, August 20. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.5 percent to $3.79 per pound, after two days of improvement. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the price of US copper producer grade 122 dropped 0.5 percent to $3.79 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 closed at $3.98 per pound. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.5 percent.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar increased 0.3 percent to CNY 50,600 ($8,237) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price gained 0.3 percent to finish at CNY 50,800 ($8,270) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire was unchanged at CNY 50,395 ($8,204) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,211) per metric ton.

At $6,934, the cash price of primary copper finished the market day on the LME up 0.4 percent per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price rose 0.3 percent to $6,905 per metric ton.

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