Investing.com - Copper futures held near the previous session’s two-week high on Thursday, amid mounting optimism over the outlook for growth in the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest consumers of the industrial metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for July delivery tacked on 0.21%, or 0.6 cents, to trade at $3.066 a pound during European morning hours. Prices traded in a range between $3.044 and $3.071.
Copper rose to $3.075 on Wednesday, the most since June 6, before settling at $3.060, down 0.03, or 0.1 cents.
Futures were likely to find support at $3.022 a pound, the low from June 16 and resistance at $3.075 a pound, the high from June 18.
At the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut its bond purchases by another $10 billion a month, to $35 billion, saying there was "sufficient underlying strength" in the U.S. economy to continue tapering.
The Fed said it expects the federal-funds rate, currently close to zero, to reach 1.2% by the end of next year and 2.5% by the end of 2016, a slightly faster rate of tightening than formerly expected.
But the forecast did not bring forward the timing for the first rate hike, disappointing many investors and weighing on the dollar.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, declined 0.3% to 80.26, the lowest since May 27.
Dollar weakness usually benefits copper, as it boosts the metal''s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region later in the day.
Meanwhile, in China, Premier Li Keqiang pledged to meet China’s target for economic expansion this year and ruled out a hard landing.
Li said Wednesday that the “Chinese government is adjusting its economic operations to ensure the minimum growth rate is 7.5%.”
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery tacked on 0.72%, or $9.10, to trade at $1,281.80 a troy ounce, while silver for July delivery advanced 0.93%, or 18.4 cents, to trade at $19.96 an ounce.
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