Copper snaps four day losing streak on upbeat EU growth data, strong US retail sales

Copper prices snapped a four-day losing streak on Tuesday following the release of EU growth data ahead of expectations and strong US retail sales data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained 0.3% to close at $7,416 per metric ton after sliding 12% since the start of May and languishing between $7,300 – $7600 over the past three weeks.

Across the Atlantic copper futures for December delivery hit $3.371 a pound in midday trading on the Comex in New York for a gain of 0.2%. Copper had fallen 2.1% over the past two trading sessions.

US retail sales gained 0.8% in July for their first advance in four months, while growth data from Germany and France beat forecasts and assuaged concerns overthe EU's economic health. The German economy grew 0.3% on the second quarter compared to the preceding quarter and beat the average expectation of 0.2%.

Despite the upbeat news from the main OECD economies, some analysts believe the market remains on the defensive due to concerns over China's lagging performance of late. China remains the world's largest consumer of copper, with the US and Germany in second and third place respectively.