Copper prices rose for a second consecutive session Thursday, lifted by a weakening dollar as investors monitored the latest trade developments.
Front-month copper for September delivery climbed 1% to $2.6185 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trade tensions and weak Chinese economic data have punished prices this year, sending the red metal down 20% from its June four-year high.
A stronger dollar has also hurt materials by making them more expensive for overseas buyers. But on Thursday, the WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 other currencies, fell 0.2%.
Investors were waiting to see if the U.S. moves ahead with plans to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
“It looks as though metals have shaken off some of those trade fears this morning, although the issue has not been put to bed by any stretch of the imagination,” said Geordie Wilkes, an analyst at Sucden Financial Research.
Weak economic data from China, which consumes about half the world’s copper and is a large consumer of other metals used widely in construction and manufacturing, has also worried commodity investors this year.
Among precious metals, front-month gold for September delivery added 0.3% to $1,197.90 a troy ounce for a third advance in the last four sessions. Although prices have stabilized lately, they are still near their lowest levels since January 2017, hurt by the dollar’s strength and rising Treasury yields.