China, the globe's top customer for copper with consumption of the world's supply estimated at 40 percent, is set to increase demand this year for the reddish metal by almost 7 percent, the top official of a mining firm told Reuters on Tuesday.
Charlie Sartain with Xstrata said demand from the Asian nation for the industrial metal will trump damages wrought by the sovereign debt scourge in the euro zone.
"We see an underlying strength in (copper) demand growth in China," the copper unit head told the news source during an interview at the CRU copper conference in the capital of Chile. "We see some positive demand signs in the U.S. … That's helping to offset the difficulties Europe is having."
The performance of copper futures on Tuesday went both ways amid economic data released by the U.S. that was positive and negative, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Industrial production was even in March, marking the second straight month of flat generation. Home construction slipped 5.8 percent from February to March, a second consecutive drop.
At 4: on Tuesday, copper futures gained 0.48 percent, a 1.75 cent lift to $3.6535 per pound.
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