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Copper little changed near 2-week high on U.S. economic optimism

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Shutterstock photo - - Copper futures held steady near a two-week high on Monday, as growing optimism over the health of the U.S. economy supported demand for the industrial metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for September delivery inched up 0.09%, or 0.3 cents, to trade at $3.207 a pound during European morning hours.

Prices hit a daily high of $3.228 a pound earlier, the most since August 10. Copper ended Friday's session up 0.9%, or 2.8 cents, to end at $3.204.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.169, the low from August 22 and resistance at $3.231 a pound, the high from August 10.

The focus this week will be on a flurry of key U.S. economic indicators, as investors look for further clues on the strength of the recovery and the possible future path of monetary policy.

On Thursday, the U.S. will produce data on second quarter gross domestic product. The country will also release reports on new home sales, durable goods orders and initial jobless claims throughout the week.

Speaking at the Federal Reserve's annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy is recovering and added the labor market is improving as well.

Her comments came after minutes of the Fed's July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.

Comex copper prices tacked on 0.96%, or 3.1 cents, last week, 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 December delivery shed 0.2%, or $2.50, to trade at $1,277.70 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery slumped 0.26%, or 5.1 cents, to trade at $19.40 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar index rose to an 11-month high after a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, over the weekend highlighted the diverging paths of interest rates in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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