Industrial Metals Given Fresh Boost After China Data, FTSE 100 Heads to Monthly Gains

Stock markets pushed higher in European trading session on Thursday thanks to data that indicated the resilience of the American and Chinese economies. U.K. shares were also on a strong rise, extending their rally to a second straight day after having fallen to a one-week low earlier this week.

The FTSE 100 index jumped more than 0.5 percent to 7400.00 following an advance of 0.4% in the previous session. The stock benchmark index was on track to close the month modestly 0.1 percent higher. The overall performance was supported by gains in the basic materials group that helped offset losses in the oil and gas sector.

Industrial metals’ prices were given fresh boost on Thursday in the wake of data that reflected healthy growth at China’s factories in August. Copper for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed more than 0.6 percent to trade at $3.1065 per lb, heading for a third monthly gain in a row.

Expectations of better metals demand were fed after China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) reported that China’s official factory gauge further strengthened in August. Indeed, the manufacturing purchasing managers index jumped to 51.7 in August from the 51.4 reading in July. This month’s figure easily topped market forecast for a small dip to 51.3.

Topping the list of gainers on the FTSE 100, shares of copper producer Antofagasta PLC soared more than 4.6 percent while those of Anglo American PLC and Glencore PLC advanced by 2.79% and 2.59%, respectively. Shares of iron ore producer BHP Billiton PLC added 1.65%.

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