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Copper futures edge lower on China concerns

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Copper futures edged lower on Thursday, after data showed that China's factory activity slowed to a three-month low in August, fuelling concerns over the health of the world's second largest economy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for September delivery declined 0.74%, or 2.4 cents, to trade at $3.153 a pound during European morning hours.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.084, the low from August 20 and resistance at $3.178 a pound, the high from August 20.

Data released earlier showed that the preliminary reading of China's HSBC manufacturing index fell to a three-month low of 50.3 in August from 51.7 in July and well short of forecasts for 51.5.

Copper traders consider shifts in the HSBC PMI an indicator of China's copper demand, as the industrial metal is widely used by the sector.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

A day earlier, copper futures surged 2.87%, or 8.8 cents, to end at $3.177 a pound, after commodities giant Glencore forecast strong demand from both China and the West in the second half of the year.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery tumbled 1.1%, or $14.20, to trade at $1,281.00 a troy ounce, while silver for September delivery slumped 0.91%, or 17.7 cents, to trade at $19.32 an ounce.

Gold weakened and the dollar firmed after minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting published Wednesday showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.

Other officials want to see further evidence of economic recovery before moving towards raising rates.

Investors now looked ahead to the Fed's annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due to begin later Thursday.

The spotlight will be on Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who will speak on Friday in her first appearance at Jackson Hole as head of the U.S. central bank.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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