- Copper prices re-approached the lowest level since July 2010 on Thursday, after weaker than expected Chinese economic data added to concerns over the health of the world’s second largest economy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for May delivery fell to a session low of $2.935 a pound, before trimming losses to last trade at $2.944 a pound during European morning hours, down 0.6%, or $0.018 cents.

The May copper contract slumped to $2.908 a pound on Wednesday, the weakest since July 2010, before turning higher to settle at $2.962 a pound, up 0.34%, or $0.010 cents.

Futures were likely to find support at $2.908 a pound, the low from March 12 and resistance at $2.981 a pound, the high from March 12.

Data released earlier showed that industrial production in China rose by an annualized rate of 8.6% in the first two months of 2014, the weakest since March 2009 and below expectations for a 9.5% increase.

A separate report showed that Chinese retail sales rose by a smaller-than-forecast 11.8% in the same period, the slowest pace for the first two months since 2004.

Copper has been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions as growing concerns over the health of China’s economy dampened demand for growth-linked assets.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.

The U.S. is to release data on retail sales and import prices, in addition to the weekly government report on initial jobless claims.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for April delivery rose 0.2% to trade at $1,373.40 a troy ounce, while silver for May delivery picked up 0.35% to trade at $21.42 a troy ounce.

Gold prices rose to a six-month high of $1,375.20 an ounce earlier, as demand for safe haven assets remained supported amid simmering concerns over the standoff in Ukraine.

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