Copper broke out of an eight-month trading range last week amid news of a potential Chinese ban on imports of scrap copper, with the ban likely to take effect in 2018. China is the world's biggest importer of scrap metal, and any ban could heighten the demand for refined copper and mined copper concentrate.
The copper rally accelerated after data unveiled on Monday showed that China's manufacturing PMI came in at 51.4 in July, signalling expansion in economic activity and strengthening bullish sentiment for the industrial metal. Copper futures reached as high as $2.9155 a pound on Monday before pulling back. Immediate resistance on the upside sits at $2.9200, a close above which could drive prices to $2.9600 a pound. As long as copper remains above $2.8300, the short-term uptrend will remain intact.