Over the weekend the HSBC China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index reached 51.2, a six-month high. Copper subsequently rallied as China is the world’s largest importer of the red metal; in fact the country accounts for 40% of all copper imports.
At the start of summer, the Chinese banking system came under pressure when the cost of interbank lending spiked, and this impacted the manufacturing sector which slipped into contraction.
Copper had a good run last week when the US Federal Reserve kept its stimulus package unchanged at $85 billion per month, keeping the US dollar weak and boosting investor confidence in the US economy.
Esther George of the Federal Reserve will make a statement at 6pm (London time). Ms George holds hawkish views and may suggest that trimming the bond-buying scheme at the next Fed meeting would be her recommendation. If Ms George does drop any hints about reducing the stimulus package, copper could decline further.