Investing.com - Copper futures were higher during European morning trade on Thursday, as appetite for riskier assets improved following the release of encouraging manufacturing data out of the euro zone and China.
Hopes that a deal on an aid payment for Greece is close further supported sentiment
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for December delivery traded at USD3.511 a pound during European morning trade, up 0.45% on the day.
New York-traded copper prices rose by as much as 0.6% earlier in the day to hit a session high of USD3.517 a pound.
Data released earlier in the day showed that Germany’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 46.8 in November, up from 46.0 in October and better than forecasts for a reading of 45.9.
Meanwhile, the euro zone’s manufacturing PMI rose to 46.2 this month from 45.4 in October, above expectations for a reading of 45.6, while French factory data also improved more-than-expected.
Also in the euro zone, Spain saw borrowing costs decline at an auction of three- and five-year government debt earlier, as hopes for an imminent deal on an aid payment for Greece supported sentiment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said an agreement to unlock a delayed bailout installment for Greece was still possible when euro zone finance ministers resume talks on Monday.
Talks between finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund ended without a deal on Tuesday, amid disagreements on how best to reduce the country’s debt to sustainable levels.
Copper prices advanced during the Asian session after a report showed that China’s preliminary HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to 50.4 in November, up from a final reading of 49.5 in October.
It was the first expansion in manufacturing activity since September 2011, easing concerns over the growth outlook for the world’s second largest economy.
China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
Markets participants also continued to monitor developments surrounding the looming “fiscal cliff” in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.
There are fears the U.S. economy will fall back into a recession, unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise in the seven weeks left before the January 1 deadline.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery added 0.3% to trade at USD1,728.85 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery rallied 1.15% to trade at a five-week high of USD33.31 a troy ounce.
Trade volumes were expected to remain light on Thursday, with COMEX floor trading scheduled to remain closed. An abbreviated session was slated for Friday.