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Copper Futures head for weekly gain on China demand optimism

Copper Futures touched highs unseen since September 5th on Friday and looked set to register a 2.6% weekly gain on optimism over China’s economic recovery.

The latest set of macro data revealed industrial activity strength in the largest copper-importing nation worldwide, which could drive demand for the industrial metal.

China’s industrial output expanded 4.5% year-on-year in August, while picking up from a 3.7% growth in July, data by the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed earlier on Friday.

It has been the sharpest annual rate of increase since April in the wake of recent government measures in support of the country’s economic recovery. In comparison, market consensus had pointed to a 3.9% surge.

Manufacturing production grew 5.4% YoY in August, accelerating from a 3.9% growth in July, while mining output increased 2.3% YoY following 1.3% growth in July.

China’s industrial output expanded 3.9% in the first eight months of the year compared to the respective period of 2022.

In addition, China’s retail sales rose 4.6% year-on-year in August, again exceeding market expectations and following a 2.5% increase in July.

This has been the sharpest retail trade growth since May, underpinned by higher sales of clothes, shoes, hats and textiles (+4.5%), furniture (+4.8%), communications equipment (+8.5%), cosmetics (+9.7%), as well as gold, silver and jewelry (+7.2%).

A day earlier the People’s Bank of China reduced reserve requirements for domestic banks, while ensuring more liquidity to bolster the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.

As of 9:08 GMT on Friday Copper Futures for delivery in December were edging down 0.38% to trade at $3.8070 per pound. Earlier in the session, the industrial metal went up as high as $3.8515 per pound, or its strongest price level since September 5th ($3.8725).

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