File photo: Chris Collingridge

London - Copper was poised for the biggest weekly gain in a year after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly maintained monetary stimulus in the United States, the second-biggest consumer of the metal.

The metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $7,329 a metric ton at 3.31pm in Tokyo after touching $7,357 on Thursday, the highest level since August 27. Copper has advanced 4.1 percent this week, the biggest rally since the five days ended September 14, 2012.

The LMEX index of six industrial metals added 2.3 percent on Thursday, the most since August 8, and the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities jumped to a five-year high. Policy makers want to see more evidence that improvement in the US economy will be sustained before adjusting the Fed’s $85-billion in monthly debt purchases.

“The Fed’s decision and the dollar’s weakness against the euro provided support for copper,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures in Seoul. “Copper is expected to test the August 27 high of $7,400 in the short term.”

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell for the 11th straight session. They have dropped 5.8 percent to 568,575 tons since Sept. 4. Ten traders and analysts surveyed expect copper to climb next week, eight were bearish and eight neutral.

Futures for delivery in December were little changed at $3.3425 a pound on the Comex in New York. Markets in China are closed today for the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.

On the LME, nickel, aluminum, lead and tin declined, while zinc was little changed. - Bloomberg