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Copper rallies on signs of improving US home sales

The Associated Press

Copper is rallying as the housing market shows more signs of improvement. That’s offering investors hope that demand may be strengthening for the industrial metal.

Copper rose 1.5 percent Friday to finish at $3.863 per pound. The price is up about 12 percent this year.
The government reports that new home sales fell nearly 1 percent in January. Revised figures showed sales during the last three months of 2011 that were stronger than had been expected.

Copper is used in a variety of applications, from pipes and wiring for construction and infrastructure to electronics.

Other commodities are mixed ahead of a weekend meeting of the finance ministers from the world’s 20 leading economies.

Prices for oil, wheat, corn and soybeans are higher. Gold, silver, platinum and natural gas are lower.

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