Copper holds firm

Copper, which is Zambia’s major source of foreign exchange firmed in early Asian trading on Friday, gaining momentum from a positive outlook for Chinese industrial activity.

China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in six months in August, buoyed by a surge in export orders and higher prices, according to the private Caixin manufacturing purchasing manager’s index.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index released on Thursday rose to 51.7 in August from 51.4 the previous month.

Reuters reports that copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was trading at US$6,811 a tonne.

“Three-month copper on the LME was up by 0.3 percentage point at US$6,811 a tonne, extending gains from the previous session. The contract touched a peak of US$6,872 on Thursday, the highest since September 2014,” Reuters reports.

On oil price, crude futures fell on Friday, partly reversing sharp gains from the previous session, amid ongoing turmoil in the oil industry following Hurricane Harvey with nearly a quarter of United States refining capacity offline.

The new Brent contract for November delivery was down 21 cents, or 0.4 percentage point, at US$52.65 a barrel while the contract for October delivery, which ended trading last Thursday, closed up at US$1.52, or 2.99 percent, at US$52.38 a barrel.

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