In early trade on Tuesday copper for delivery in December touched one-month highs with copper futures exchanging hands for $2.2170 per pound ($4,887 a tonne).
It was the seventh session in a row of gains for the red metal and the latest leg up was sparked by better than expected economic news out of China, responsible for nearly half the world’s copper demand.
Chinese manufacturing data comfortably beat expectations in October with the Caixin manufacturing PMI rising to its highest in more than two years at 51.2 (a reading above 50 indicates improving operating conditions).
Beijing’s official manufacturing PMI also surprise to the upside, rising to 51.2 from 50.4 in September as a pick-up in output and new orders boosted activity. After years of concerns about inflation, the underlying price indices of the gauge reached levels last seen in 2011.
In a note Capital Economics called the data “unambiguously upbeat and consistent with broader evidence that the economy is currently in the midst of a cyclical recovery.”
While other industrial metals and steelmaking raw materials have jumped in value this year, the bellwether metal has advanced a modest 4% this year. The copper price hit six year lows in January following a 26% decline in 2015.