Lumber Prices Jump Maximum Amount After U.S. Housing Starts Gains Announced

Future prices for lumber rose the maximum permitted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a jump in U.S. housing starts revived prospects for construction materials. Lumber futures for November delivery rose the CME’s $10 daily limit, or 4.5 percent, to settle at $232 per 1,000 board feet at 1:10 p.m. in Chicago.

September 23, 2010

Future prices for lumber rose the maximum permitted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a jump in U.S. housing starts revived prospects for construction materials. Lumber futures for November delivery rose the CME’s $10 daily limit, or 4.5 percent, to settle at $232 per 1,000 board feet at 1:10 p.m. in Chicago.

Construction of single-family homes rose 4.3 percent, after a 6.7 percent decline in the month prior. Builders in August broke ground on 598,000 homes at an annual rate, up 10.5 percent from July and the most since April, the Commerce Department said. Economists forecast a 550,000 pace. Building permits, an indicator of future activity, rose from a record low. 

The Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilding Index, which tracks shares of 12 companies, Tuesday jumped as much as 1.8 percent to 245.83, the highest level since July 27. Lumber futures are up 27 percent since touching an eight-month low in June.

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