TOKYO -- Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange reached a three-week high of about $4,770 a ton on Thursday after gaining 2% since Tuesday.
The international benchmark rose on improved economic data in China, which accounts for at least 40% of global demand for the metal. The country's industrial production in August topped market projections while private-sector investment stopped declining, feeding hopes of recovering demand for copper, often used in housing and cars.
Copper stockpiles in LME-approved warehouses are at a one-year high, and crude prices, an indicator of the commodities market as a whole, are declining. Many market players expect limited further gains in copper prices.
JX Holdings unit JX Nippon Mining & Metals raised its quoted price for copper by 10,000 yen to 530,000 yen ($5,160) per ton on Thursday.