Copper rally to reach third week on upbeat data from China

Copper is set to enjoy a third consecutive week of gains following the release of positive data for China's manufacturing sector.

HSBC's Purchasing Managers' Index for the Middle Kingdom was 51.9% this month, hitting its highest level in two years and building on a robust 51.5% logged for December.

The Chinese economy expanded by 7.9% in the fourth quarter following a protracted, seven period run of slowing growth. The general consensus amongst economists is that China's economic growth will continue to accelerate during the first three quarters of 2013.

China has become one of the key drivers of global copper prices since its emergence as the world's manufacturing, accounting for 42% of global copper consumption as opposed to 11% in North America.

Bloomberg reports
that eleven of the analysts it surveyed were upbeat about movements in copper prices next week, as opposed to only six who were bearish and five who were neutral.