Demand for commodities of all kinds is ramping up at breakneck speed. And despite fears of a slowdown in China's economic growth, Dr. Copper is leading the rise in commodities prices.
Copper earned that nickname because it's thought to be a bellwether on the health of the global economy, thanks to its numerous economic uses.
Prices slumped earlier this month after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao cut China's economic growth target to 7.5%, the lowest since 2004. China is the world's largest copper buyer, snapping up 40% of annual supplies.
However, predictions for weak copper demand were muted on Monday, as the Asian giant reported a stream of new orders pushed factory activity to an 11-month high in March. Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector also picked up in March, more evidence that the world's largest economy is gaining momentum. The red metal jumped on the manufacturing data and is up 13.8% year-to-date (YTD).
The news has analysts predicting demand for copper is likely to pick up steam. "The U.S. is an important market, and with the economic outlook there brightening, demand is also likely to surprise to the upside," Commerzbank AG (PINK: CRZBY) analyst Eugen Weinberg told Reuters. But Dr. Copper is just part of the story. Just take a look at what's happening in other commodity markets...