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Copper price hits another record high

Workers at copper mine in Portugal
Image caption Predicted global economic growth in 2011 is expected to increase copper prices as demand rises

The price of copper has hit yet another record high in London trading, buoyed by strong manufacturing data from both the US and the eurozone.

Copper to be delivered in three months rallied to $9,728 a tonne, up from Friday's peak of $9,600.

It means that copper prices have now hit fresh all-time highs on the London Metal Exchange in five of the past seven trading sessions.

Analysts said prices were being lifted by expectations of high demand in 2011.

The latest US manufacturing data came from the Institute of Supply Management, which said factory output grew in December at its fastest pace since May.

The eurozone figures came from the Markit Purchasing Managers' Index, which recorded a level of 57.1 for December, up from an earlier estimate of 56.8 and above November's 55.3.

With any number above 50 indicating growth, Germany posted the strongest increase, but Greece's manufacturing sector continued to shrink.

At the same time, Chinese demand for copper is expected to continue to grow strongly, despite efforts by the government to cool the country's fast-paced economic expansion.

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