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Copper price up as Chinese imports rise

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The copper price rose on Wednesday as improving demand prospects due to stronger than expected data from the United States and China were reinforced by a lower dollar.

Copper for delivery in September rose 1.9% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.65 per pound ($9,380 per tonne).

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

“In the near term, better data means equity and credit markets are pricing out a more severe recession risk. In this context base metals could catch up with this risk positive shift,” said Giles Coghlan, an analyst at broker HYCM.

Stronger data includes China’s copper imports rising to 463,693 tonnes in July, up 9.3% from a year earlier as the sharp drop in prices triggered buying.

US jobs growth, which accelerated unexpectedly in July has boosted expectations of another 75 basis point rate hike in September when the Federal Reserve next meets. US consumer prices data on Wednesday will yield further clues to the direction of US monetary policy.

Low copper stocks in LME registered warehouses are also supporting prices, as are canceled warrants — metal earmarked for delivery — at 28% compared with 18% at the start of August.

(With files from Reuters)