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Copper prices increase due to emerging positive outlook on Chinese economy

Copper prices increased to their highest point in over seven days due to optimistic data from China, the world’s largest consumer of the metal. Investors are becoming more hopeful about China’s economy after the official manufacturing purchasing managers index in March reached its highest level in a year. This information, combined with strong exports and rising consumer prices, has improved market sentiment.

In addition to China’s strong data, a factory gauge in the US also showed signs of improvement, ending 16 months of decline. This positive economic news is supporting the consumption of raw materials like copper, which is facing concerns about supply shortages. China’s top smelters, responsible for over half of the world’s refined copper, are considering output cuts as processing fees have fallen to almost zero.

Despite the positive economic indicators, there are concerns that the Federal Reserve may be slow to cut interest rates, which could impact the commodities market. Bond traders are predicting less easing by the Fed this year, with odds of a rate cut in June briefly falling below 50%. Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange rose 1% to $8,956 a tonne, while nickel also increased by 0.8% to $16,875 a tonne. Aluminum prices remained near their highest level in three months.

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