Copper Gains on High Hopes for Chinese Economy

By David Hodari Features Dow Jones Newswires

The price of copper continued to rise Friday, supported by continued optimism about the Chinese economy.

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Copper ticked up 0.30% to $6,716 a metric ton in midmorning trade.

Gold prices also rose, inching 0.1% higher to $1,287.46 a troy ounce as the dollar pulled back.

Copper prices continued to break fresh 2 1/2 -year highs, hitting levels last seen in November 2014 as investors bet on continued strong economic data out of China.

"Today's move is connected to broad-based optimism in China, and we need to pay attention to iron ore prices as well," said Vivienne Lloyd, senior analyst at Macquarie.

Copper prices and iron ore prices often go hand-in-hand as bellwethers of the health of the Chinese economy, and both were trading in positive territory on Friday.

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Falling Chinese copper supply provided additional support to prices. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper inventories fell 8.2% week-on-week, said John Meyer, partner at SP Angel, in a morning note. That is the largest on-the-week fall since the first full week of June.

Looking ahead, Chinese purchasing managers index data, due out in early September will likely be the next catalyst for base metals, Ms. Lloyd of Macquarie said.

The next mover for precious metals prices could come sooner, with prices treading water ahead of speeches from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the central bank symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyo. Any signals as to future central bank policy could sway the dollar and gold.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measure the dollar against a basket of other currencies, was last down 0.05% at 86.11.

Among other base metals, zinc rose 0.48% to $3,126.50 a metric ton, aluminum rose 0.19% to $2,102 a metric ton, tin fell 0.19% to $20,440 a metric ton, nickel fell 0.68% to $11,665 a metric ton and lead rose 0.38% to $2,368 a metric ton.

Among precious metals, palladium rose 0.35% to $937.88 a troy ounce, platinum fell 0.05% to $980.05 a troy ounce, and silver rose 0.35% to $17.04 a troy ounce.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 25, 2017 07:02 ET (11:02 GMT)