Investing.com - Copper futures swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, after data showed that China’s exports rose less than expected in June.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for September delivery tacked on 0.1%, or 0.4 cents, to trade at $3.252 a pound during European morning hours. Prices held in a narrow range between $3.245 and $3.257 a pound.
Copper prices ended Wednesday’s session down 0.28%, or 0.9 cents, to settle at $3.248 a pound.
Futures were likely to find support at $3.237 a pound, the low from July 7 and resistance at $3.294 a pound, the high from July 8.
Data released earlier showed that Chinese exports in June climbed 7.2% from a year earlier, missing expectations for a gain of 10.6%, while imports rose 5.5%, below forecasts for a 5.8% increase.
China’s trade surplus narrowed to $31.6 billion last month from a surplus of $35.92 billion in May, compared to estimates for a surplus of $35.0 billion.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery inched up 0.48%, or $6.40, to trade at $1,330.70 a troy ounce, while silver for September delivery advanced 0.87%, or 18.4 cents, to trade at $21.25 an ounce.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting released Wednesday showed that officials agreed to end the central bank’s asset purchase program in October.
However, the minutes revealed little new information on when the bank could start to hike rates. The central bank acknowledged that the economy is continuing to improve but officials remain divided over the outlook for inflation.