Copper price rises as China’s economy shows strong recovery

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The copper price rose on Wednesday after better-than-expected manufacturing activity data from China underpinned demand hopes.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.6 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, the highest reading since April 2012. A non-manufacturing gauge measuring activity in both the services and construction sectors improved to 56.3. Both indexes beat economists’ expectations.

“Overall trend still points to a solid recovery at the beginning of 2023,” said Zhou Hao, chief economist at Guotai Junan International.

“The decent PMI readings provide a positive note for the upcoming National People’s Congress,” with the government expected to roll out further supportive policies to cement the recovery, he said.

Copper for delivery in May on the Comex market in New York touched $4.16 per pound ($9,152 per tonne), up 1.9% compared to Tuesday’s closing.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

China is expected to set its GDP growth rate target at 5.5%-6% this year at its annual parliament meeting that opens on March 5, Iris Pang, chief economist, Greater China at ING said in a note.

ING expects infrastructure investment to be the second major growth engine for China in 2023, after consumption.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)