Copper surges to 2-month high on China recovery

AP News
Posted: Aug 08, 2013 5:36 PM

Copper surged to a two-month high on Thursday after China reported a strong recovery in trade.

Copper for September delivery rose 9.75 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $3.2705 a pound.

China's exports and imports increased last month, exceeding expectations and representing a strong recovery from June's slump. China is the world's largest importer of raw materials.

Sterling Smith, vice president at Citibank Institutional Client Group, said the increase on copper was an encouraging leading indicator for the global economy since it's used to build so many basic necessities such as electronics and homes.

"You're building infrastructure, you're building cars — you're building big-ticket items," Smith said.

Other industrial metals also rose. Platinum for October delivery rose $53.30, or 3.7 percent, and palladium for September delivery rose $15.40, or 2.1 percent, to $738.55.

Silver for September delivery surged 68.5 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $20.193 an ounce. December gold rose $24.60, or 1.9 percent, to $1,309.90 an ounce.

In energy trading, benchmark crude fell 97 cents to close at $103.40 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.92 a gallon, natural gas rose 5 cents to $3.30 per 1,000 cubic feet and wholesale gasoline slipped 1 cent to $2.86 a gallon.

Crop prices were mixed.

September wheat fell 2.25 cents to $6.4125 a bushel, December corn rose 1.5 cents to $4.5975 a bushel and November soybeans rose 18.5 cents to $11.8425 a bushel.