(MENAFN - FxPro) Copper prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by upbeat Chinese second quarter growth data.
Official data released earlier showed that China's economy grew 7.0% in the second quarter, steady with the previous quarter and slightly better than analysts' forecasts for growth of 6.9%.
A separate report showed that industrial production rose by an annualized rate of 6.8% in June, above expectations for a 6.0% increase and following a gain of 6.1% in the preceding month.
Data on retail sales and fixed asset investment also beat forecasts, fueling speculation China's economy is regaining strength after a recent bout of weakness.
The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption.
Copper for September delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 2.1 cents, or 0.82%, to trade at $2.556 a pound during European morning hours. A day earlier, copper dipped 0.9 cents, or 0.37%, to close at $2.535.
Markets in Shanghai slumped 3% on Wednesday despite the upbeat economic data. The index dropped nearly 30% in three weeks before halting its decline after policymakers introduced measures to support the market and calm investors.
Elsewhere, gold futures for August delivery inched up 10 cents, or 0.01%, to trade at $1,153.60 a troy ounce, while silver futures for September delivery slumped 4.7 cents, or 0.31% to trade at $15.26 an ounce.
Investors await the start of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's two-day testimony before Congress on Wednesday for further indications on the timing of a highly-anticipated interest rate hike. On Friday, Yellen said the Fed anticipates raising interest rates later this year if the U.S. economy and labor markets continue to show improvement in the coming weeks.
The U.S. is to publish figures on industrial production and manufacturing activity in the New York region later Wednesday, as traders look for further indications on the strength of the economy and the timing of an interest rate hike.
Data on Tuesday showed a surprise fall in U.S. retail sales in June. Retail sales declined 0.3% last month, disappointing expectations for a gain of 0.2%, while core retail sales fell 0.1%, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% increase.
The disappointing data fueled concerns over the outlook for the economic recovery and tempered expectations for higher interest rates.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last at 96.83, up 0.03% for the day.
The euro was little changed as investors waited to see if the Greek parliament would support harsh austerity measures demanded by the country's creditors in order to secure a third bailout deal.
Four pieces of legislation must be passed by the end of the day on Wednesday, including pension and sales tax reforms.