Copper hit its highest price in more than two months Monday following news that China pledged to free up its financial markets.
Copper for July delivery jumped 7 cents to settle at $3.15 a pound Monday. That's the highest settlement price for the industrial metal since March 6, according to FactSet.
Late last week, China's government outlined plans to loosen regulations on its financial markets. The reforms reportedly include steps to ease limits on foreign investment and make it easier for companies to raise money. China's stock markets surged Monday.
Traders say reports showing a drop in China's copper stockpiles also helped push prices up. Falling copper stockpiles may lead Chinese producers to cut back on exports so they can feed demand at home, said Phil Streible, senior commodity broker at RJ O'Brien & Associates in Chicago.
Other metals traded higher Monday. Gold for June delivery rose $8.20 to $1,295.80 an ounce. Silver for July gained 42 cents to $19.54 an ounce.
Platinum for July rose $12 to $1,441.90 an ounce, while palladium for June rose $9 to $808.75.
In other trading, contracts for wheat, corn and soybeans all fell. Wheat dropped 8 cents to $7.15 a bushel. Corn fell 8 cents to settle at $5 a bushel, while soybeans slipped 22 cents to $14.65.
In the market for oil and gas contracts, benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery rose 60 cents to $100.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.91 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.92 a gallon.
— Natural gas lost 10 cents to $4.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.