Policy: Economy

Signs of economic growth drive copper prices up

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News,Business,Economy

Copper closed at its highest price in more than four months on Wednesday as more signs of economic growth pushed prices for the industrial metal up.

Copper for September delivery gained 6 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at $3.27 a pound Wednesday. That's the highest price for the metal since February, according to the data provider FactSet.

A report on hiring from ADP, a payroll processor, said private employers added 281,000 workers last month, another sign the US economy is shaking off a winter slump.

Copper prices have climbed 2.9 percent this week following reports of stronger manufacturing activity in China, the world's biggest buyer of copper. The U.S. is the world's second-biggest buyer.

In other trading, gold for August rose $4.30 to $1,330.90 an ounce, and silver for September rose 19 cents to $21.30 an ounce.

Other industrial metals were little changed. Platinum for October slipped $3.50 to $1,511.50 an ounce. Palladium for September rose $2.80 to $857.40 an ounce.

Crop futures were mixed. Wheat rose 3 cents to $5.76 a bushel. Corn fell 5 cents to $4.18 a bushel, and soybeans slipped 6 cents to $11.42 a bushel.

In the market for oil and gas, benchmark U.S. crude dropped 86 cents to $104.48 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell a penny to $3.02 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 3 cents to $2.95 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 9 cents to $4.36 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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