Copper futures gained on Tuesday for a fifth straight session as inventories declined.

Stocks of copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 4,400 metric tons or 2.7 percent to 159, 725 tons today. The decline represents metal's steepest drop since last October and near a 20 percent loss since the beginning of 2008.

Copper futures for March rose $0.60 cents or 0.17 percent to $3.5695 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division. On LME, copper for delivery in three months jumped $57 or 0.74 percent to $7,797 a metric ton.

Meanwhile, global markets are closely watching China, the greatest consumer of copper in the world.

Copper prices have risen due to supply concerns in China. The country has been forced to stop operations in some of its largest smelters due to snowstorms.

Although the economic outlook in the U.S. is gloomy and demand for house-building and electrical goods may fall in the long term, some analysts say Chinese demand will strengthen copper prices.

Chinese markets will reopen tomorrow after the New Lunar Year holiday comes to an end.