Investing.com - Copper futures swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, as market players looked ahead to the release of key U.S. data later in the session for further indications on the strength of the economy and the possible future path of monetary policy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for December delivery shed 0.13%, or 0.4 cents, to trade at $3.195 a pound during European morning hours.
Prices held in a range between $3.188 and $3.208 a pound. A day earlier, copper futures lost 0.44%, or 1.4 cents, to end at $3.198 a pound.
Futures were likely to find support at $3.171, the low from August 21 and resistance at $3.239 a pound, the high from August 26.
The U.S. will release data on second quarter gross domestic product, as well as reports on pending home sales and initial jobless claims on Thursday.
Data released earlier in the week showed that U.S. consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2007 in August while durable goods orders posted their biggest gain on record in July.
The upbeat data underlined optimism over the health of the economy and fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.14% to hit 82.36.
The euro rebounded from an 11-month low against the dollar as investors reassessed expectations for fresh easing measures by the European Central Bank.
According to reports, the ECB is unlikely to take new policy action at its meeting next week unless inflation data on Friday shows the euro zone sinking further towards deflation.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery tacked on 0.41%, or $5.30, to trade at $1,288.70 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery picked up 1.09%, or 21.3 cents, to trade at $19.68 an ounce.
Gold prices edged higher as ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Iraq helped offset selling pressure from bullish U.S. equities.
The S&P 500 closed above the key 2000-level for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.
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