Speculation that the United States government could reach an agreement on the debt ceiling breathed some life back into copper prices on Thursday. The red metal has been weak since the US government partially shut down at the beginning of the month. Copper for three-month delivery climbed to $7,142 per tonne in London on Thursday, up from its opening price of nearly $7,100. Today, theaUS Republicans presented President Barack Obama with the offer of a short-term increase to the debt limit to stave off default. CBC writes that according toaUS House Speaker John Boehner, the Republicans "would vote to extend the government's ability to borrow money for six weeks." However, before any agreement can be reached, Obama must first agree to renewed negotiations on spending cuts. Dr. Optimistic It seems that despite copper's weakness of late, there are still some out there who are confident in the red metal's future. For instance, a Financial Times article published on October 9 starts with the bold statement, "'Dr Copper' is in town. And he has given the global economy a clean bill of health." While indeed it is a bold statement, it is one that is being supported by Thomas Keller, chief executive of the world's largest copper producer, Codelco. "We've seen a very healthy growth in demand in China, exceeding expectations. We're witnessing a modest recovery in the US. And in the case of Europe, we believe that there are signs that we have reached the bottom of the market," he said. Also throwing support in Dr. Copper's corner is Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's (NYSE:FCX) senior vice president of marketing and sales,aJavier Targhetta, who admitted to being "very positive regarding the strength of copper." Targhetta said, "[t]he recovery in the U.S. is a fact. There are promising signs in Europe."