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.
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.
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.