Copper rallies to 7-week high on Chinese demand hopes

Copper prices rallied to a seven-week high on Thursday, amid speculation demand in top consumer China will strengthen in the near-term

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for May delivery rose to a session high of $3.094 a pound earlier, the most since March 7.

Copper last traded at $3.086 a pound during European morning hours, up 0.88%, or 2.7 cents. Futures tacked on 0.18%, or 0.5 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $3.059 a pound.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.032 a pound, the low from April 23 and resistance at $3.219 a pound, the high from March 7.

April and May are seasonally strong months for copper consumption in China amid brisk construction activity. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for June delivery shed 0.1%, or $1.30, to trade at $1,283.30 a troy ounce, while silver for May delivery lost 0.69%, or 13.5 cents, to trade at $19.30 an ounce.

Gold and silver prices weakened as market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.

The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as a report on durable goods orders.