(MENAFN - FxPro) Copper prices pushed higher on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to key data from China later in the week, which could provide more evidence of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for July delivery climbed 2.8 cents, or 0.96%, to trade at $2.931 a pound during European morning hours after hitting a daily peak of $2.934, the most since May 7.
A day earlier, copper shed 1.7 cents, or 0.6%, to close at $2.903. Futures were likely to find support at $2.888, the low from May 8, and resistance at $2.947, the high from May 6.
Market participants looked ahead to a raft of Chinese economic data due on Wednesday for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future path of monetary policy. The Asian nation will release data on industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment for April.
Recent economic data from China has indicated that the recovery remains fragile and may require further monetary stimulus.
On Sunday, the People's Bank of China cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 5.10% from 5.35%, in order to spur economic activity and boost growth.
It was the third rate cut since November, indicating that Beijing is becoming more aggressive in supporting the economy as its momentum slows and deflation risks rise.
China is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption.
Elsewhere, gold futures for June delivery inched up $1.00, or 0.08%, to trade at $1,184.00 a troy ounce, while silver futures for July delivery dipped 2.4 cents, or 0.15% to trade at $16.29 an ounce.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.7% to hit 94.45, moving off the previous day's high of 95.33.
Market players looked ahead to Wednesday's U.S. retail sales report for April, for fresh indications on the strength of the economy and the timing of a U.S. rate increase.
Recent economic reports have indicated that the economy has slowed since the start of the year, prompting many investors to push back expectations on the timing of an initial rate hike by the Federal Reserve.