Copper futures approached record highs on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday as traders saw strong inflation in China as an indication that the country’s economic growth will remain robust, the Wall Street Journal reported. Copper futures for March delivery rose 2.2% to US$4.2000 a pound, just four cents below the record intraday day mark set in May 2008. China is the world’s leading copper consumer, with the metal commonly used in electrical wiring and plumbing in construction, as well as in manufacturing. The country’s consumer price index rose 5.1% in November, up from 4.4% the previous month, and there was no interest rate hike over the weekend. This sent copper bulls charging back into the market. However, economists believe that an interest rate increase is likely before the end of the year.
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