Prices for copper rose Monday on more signs that China’s economy is regaining strength.
An official gauge of activity in China’s factories reached its highest level this year, China’s government said. The report showed manufacturing increasing in May for a third straight month. The news helped drive up prices for copper, which is widely used in manufacturing and construction.
Copper for July delivery rose five cents, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $3.17 on Monday.
China is the world’s biggest buyer of the industrial metal, so traders tend to buy copper contracts on signs the country’s economy is growing. Concerns over China’s economy have been the main reason copper prices have slumped 7 percent this year.
Other metals ended mixed on Monday. Gold for August delivery fell $2 to $1,244 an ounce, while silver for July rose six cents to $18.74 an ounce.
Platinum for July fell $16 to $1,436.70 an ounce, and palladium for September fell $3.70 to $832.65 an ounce.
Grains and crops were also mixed. Wheat fell seven cents to settle at $6.21 a bushel. Soybeans rose seven cents to $15.01 a bushel and corn was flat at $4.66 a bushel.
In oil and gas trading, U.S. crude oil for July delivery fell 24 cents to $102.47 a barrel.
- Wholesale gasoline slipped two cents to $2.95 a gallon.
- Heating oil fell a penny to $2.88 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose seven cents to $4.61 per 1,000 cubic feet.