Optimism on China’s economy drives the price of copper

Copper rose more than 1 percent Thursday, after data suggested that China, the largest consumer of metals, will prevent a sharp economic slowdown. The news boosted risk appetite and overshadowed concerns about the debt crisis in Europe.

Copper rose after China released optimistic economic data and the U.S. strengthened hopes for recovery and the outlook for demand of industrial metals.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange (LME, for its acronym in English) rose 1.54%, or $ 131, to $ 8,630 per ton.

The official index of purchasing managers in China increased to 51.0 in February from 50.5 in January, before a rebound in new export orders.

While data from China reminded investors the fragile state of the global economy, suggested that Beijing could prevent a crash landing.

China is the world’s largest consumer of metals and last year represented 40% of the demand for refined copper.

U.S. data on Thursday overshadowed the economic outlook, but not enough to put aside the prospect that the world’s largest economy is recovering slowly.