Investing.com - Copper futures advanced on Wednesday, after upbeat Chinese trade data eased fears over a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery rose to a session high of USD3.246 a pound, the most since February 10.
Copper prices last traded at USD3.243 a pound during European morning hours, up 0.9%. The March copper contract ended Tuesday’s session down 0.29% to settle at USD3.215 a pound.
Futures were likely to find support at USD3.202 a pound, the low from February 11 and resistance at USD3.253 a pound, the high from February 10.
Data released earlier showed that China’s trade surplus widened to USD31.86 billion last month from a surplus of USD25.6 billion in December, compared to estimates for a surplus of USD23.65 billion.
Chinese exports climbed 10.6% from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 2% increase and following a 4.3% gain in December. Imports rose 10%, compared to forecasts for a 3% increase.
According to the data, the Asian nation imported a record-high 536,000 tons of anode, refined copper, alloy and semi-finished copper products in January, up 21% from December.
China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
Meanwhile, comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen continued to support sentiment.
In her first congressional testimony on Tuesday, Fed Chair Yellen said that the central bank would taper the pace of its asset purchases at future meetings if the economy continued to improve as expected.
She added that the pace of the central bank’s bond purchases are not on a “preset course”, while reiterating that Fed plans to hold interest rates at zero “well past” the time the jobless rate falls below 6.5%.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for April delivery shed 0.3% to trade at USD1,285.90 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery dipped 0.15% to trade at USD20.12 a troy ounce.