Copper rises to 4-month high ahead of U.S. nonfarm payrolls report

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Investing.com - Copper futures rose to a more than four-month high on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to key U.S. employment data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the labor market.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for September delivery hit a daily high of $3.267 a pound, the most since February 21, before turning modestly lower to last trade at $3.261 during European morning hours, down 0.12%, or 0.4 cents.

Copper soared 1.9%, or 6.1 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $3.265 a pound. Futures were likely to find support at $3.183 a pound, the low from July 2 and resistance at $3.294 a pound, the high from February 21.

Traders were in wait-and-see mode before the U.S. government's monthly nonfarm payrolls report later Thursday, which is expected to show a gain of 212,000 new jobs in June.

The data is being released one day earlier than usual due to the July 4 U.S. Independence Day holiday on Friday.

Payroll processing firm ADP said Wednesday that non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 281,000 in June, the highest since November 2012 and easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 200,000.

Investors also looked ahead to the outcome of the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in the trading day. After unveiling a number of stimulus measures at its June meeting, analysts say the central bank is unlikely to act this time.

Copper prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid growing optimism over the health of the U.S. economy and speculation demand from top consumer China will increase in the near-term.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery shed 0.56%, or $7.50, to trade at $1,323.40 a troy ounce, while silver for September delivery slipped 0.9%, or 19.2 cents, to trade at $21.11 an ounce.

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