Mar 08, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures pushed higher Thursday on expectations that Greece's restructuring of its private-sector debt would succeed and ease the chance of a credit crunch in the euro zone that could sap demand for metals.
The most-actively traded contract, for May delivery, recently traded up 3.15 cents, or 0.8%, $3.7985 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile exchange.
Copper futures through Tuesday had slipped for three consecutive sessions, falling by 5% on worries about slowing growth in top consumer China and the chance of a financial crisis in the euro zone as Greece's debt-swap deadline approached.
But signs that Greece's creditors were signing on to the swap program ahead of its late-Thursday deadline, a development that would pave the way for more international financial support for the debt-laden country, drew buyers to copper and other growth-sensitive assets. Italian and Spanish borrowing costs plunged, a sign that investors were less concerned about a potential European financial crisis.
"The downswing on the metal markets would appear to have come to an end for the time being," analysts with Commerzbank said in a note.
Copper is sensitive to the economic outlook because of its widespread uses in construction and manufacturing.
European stocks also rose on Thursday, tracking gains in the euro against the U.S. dollar. A weaker dollar can boost dollar-denominated copper by making the futures appear cheaper for potential buyers using other currencies.
The copper market wasn't shaken by the news that the European Central Bank cut its growth outlook for the currency bloc. The ECB cut its 2012 central growth forecast to -0.1%, from 0.3% three months ago, and follows growth-outlook downgrades announced by other closely watched followers in recent months.