Copper Range-Bound As US Growth, China Risks Assessed

By Shihoko Goto — Exclusive to Copper Investing News

Copper Range-Bound as US Growth, China Risks Assessed

Copper investors this week are taking a wait-and-see approach, on the one hand bu oyed by yet more positive US economic data and expectations that the Fed will continue its easy monetary policy, but anxious about a steady fall in China's copper demand on the other.

US GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased at an annual rate of three percent, its biggest gain in over a year according to the US Department of Commerce. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since April 2008, down 5,000 to 359,000 in the latest week, the  US Department of Labor reported.

Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in an interview with ABC News that the US has not “quite yet got to the point where we can be completely confident that we're on a track to full recovery,” adding that "I think it's really important not to be complacent. We have a long way to go, a lot of work to do, and we're going to keep doing that."

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report by economist Aysegul Sahin which found that the US unemployment rate could drop as low as six percent by the first half of 2013.

Still, US growth is not without risks. The Department of Commerce reported that corporate profits rose at the slowest pace in three years in the latest quarter, which many analysts worry will lead to a slowdown in hiring.