The reddish metal saw gains of more than 2 percent as preoccupations about the sovereign debt scourge eased after Italy sold debt. But all eyes were patiently awaiting economic news expected for release on Friday out of China, which consumes as much as 40 percent of the globe's copper.
The sovereign debt crisis "has been a contributory factor in the weakness over the last couple of weeks, but the default position of markets is to be bullish unless the evidence is overwhelmingly the other way around," analyst Stephen Briggs with BNP Paribas told Reuters. "Chinese demand is soft by China standards, but it's still growing, and until next year you still have supply constraints in copper and people are very aware of that."
At 2:16 p.m. on Thursday, copper futures were up 2.07 percent, a 7.55 cent lift to $3.715 per pound.
Bloomberg reports forecasters project the world is facing a third-straight shortage of the reddish metal this year, which they said will continue pushing up the price of futures as growth in the U.S. continues rapidly developing.