By Leia Michele Toovey-Exclusive to Copper Investing NewsCopper futures hit record territory in London Tuesday, buoyed by positive manufacturing data from around the world. Tuesday's new high was the fifth time in the past seven trading sessions that copper hit a record. Manufacturing in the United States and Europe accelerated in December, boosting optimism that the global economic recovery will accelerate. London Metal Exchange benchmark copper for delivery in three months rallied to $9,725 a tonne, COMEX copper for three month delivery stood at 443.50 cents/lb., down 2.25 cents and off Monday's peak of 449.80 cents. The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in December at its fastest pace in seven months, marking the 17th straight month of expansion, according to The Institute for Supply Management. The ISM's index of factory activity rose to 57 percent in December, up from 56.6 percent in November, and the index's highest level since last May. Readings over 50 percent indicate that more firms are growing than contracting. The gradual increase in U.S. manufacturing output corresponds with a worldwide trend. JPMorgan Chase on Monday said its global-manufacturing index reached a six-month high to finish out 2010, setting the stage for faster economic growth in 2011. Manufacturing in Britain and the troubled euro-zone soared in December, according to Markit. Markit's British purchasing managers' index (PMI) hit a 16-year high. Manufacturing new orders and production grew at the highest rate since May. Export orders rose at their fastest pace since April's record number. Markit Purchasing Managers' Index recorded a level of 57.1 for December, up from an earlier estimate of 56.8 and above November's 55.3. As with the ISM's measurement, any number above 50 indicates growth.