Copper posted the biggest gain in almost four years, leading a surge in metals, as exports from China jumped and BHP Billiton Ltd. signaled a halt in shipments from the worldâ€™s largest copper mine. Silver neared the longest string of weekly gains since 2011 and mining stocks rose.
Overseas shipments from China, the top industrial-metals user, rebounded in January with exports to the US rising, according to customs data.
BHP declared force majeure on shipments from the Escondida mine in Chile after workers began a strike on Thursday, two customers notified by the company said.
An index of the six main
metals traded in London is off to its best start to a year since 2012, helped by bets on
improving global economic growth and mounting supply concerns for some metals. Signs of easing trade tensions between the US and China also helped boost metals.