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MTECHTIPS:-Copper struggles near 6-year low as stronger dollar weighs

MTECHTIPS:-Copper struggles near 6-year low as stronger dollar weighs

Copper prices struggled to pull away from six-year lows hit earlier in the week on Thursday, as a broadly stronger U.S. dollar reduced demand for the red metal. Copper for September delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 0.3 cents, or 0.14%, to trade at $2.352 a pound during European morning hours. A day earlier, copper shed 1.3 cents, or 0.57%, to end at $2.348. Copper tumbled to a six-year low of $2.321 on August 3, following the release of disappointing Chinese manufacturing activity data. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 98.07 early on Thursday, trading close to the previous session’s three-month peak of 98.33. A stronger dollar reduces demand for raw materials as an alternative investment and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. The greenback has been boosted recently by expectations that the improving U.S. economy will prompt the Federal Reserve to raise short term interest rates as early as September.

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