The price of copper futures rose on Tuesday morning, boosted by better-than-expected figures for U.S. manufacturing and rising producer prices. Production of consumer goods rose by 1.1 percent in July, while production of business equipment climbed 1.8 percent.
Capacity utilization, a measure of the proportion of a production plant which is actually in use, increased to 74.8 percent in July from 74.1 percent the previous month. Motor vehicle production ended up being one of the most promising sectors, with output of vehicles and parts rising 9.9 percent in the last month after a 2.5 percent decline in June.
Increasing industrial activity tends to benefit copper, which is necessary for wiring, circuits, tubing and dozens of other applications in consumer and industrial equipment.
Producer prices also rose, with they key index rising 0.2 percent after dropping 0.5 percent in June. This would appear to signal that the economy, weak as it may be, will not sink into outright deflation.
Copper futures climbed nearly 2 percent to 336.6 cents per pound just before 9:30 a.m. EST. Other metals didn’t perform as well; gold futures rose only 0.02 percent to $1,226.50 per troy ounce, while silver gained 0.34 percent to $18.545 per troy ounce.
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