(Bloomberg) -- Copper hit a fresh 11-month high in London, tracking a rally in US equity markets at the start of a busy week for global central-bank policy.  

Prices climbed as much as 1% to $9,164.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange, recovering from losses seen earlier after mixed economic data from China. Copper surged last week, ending a months-long spell of inertia, as investors honed in on risks to supply at mines and smelters, along with a generally more positive global economic outlook. 

A slew of central-bank policy meetings this week are bringing global monetary conditions into sharp focus, as investors seek further guidance on the timing of potential interest-rate cuts. In congressional testimony earlier this month, Powell emphasized the central bank needs “just a bit more evidence” inflation is headed toward its 2% target before lowering borrowing costs.

“We believe the Fed’s interest rate path will continue to drive copper’s short-term price outlook,” ING analyst Ewa Manthey said in an emailed note. “Copper will benefit from looser monetary policy, which will alleviate the financial strain on manufacturers and construction companies by reducing borrowing costs.”

Fresh data from China on Monday showed industrial output rose 7% in the first two months from a year earlier, while growth in fixed-asset investment also accelerated faster than economists estimated. Still, investment in property development fell 9% to remain a major drag on the economy.

In a sign that copper demand in China remains muted, stockpiles tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange have surged to the highest level since the early days of the pandemic. 

Copper prices may fall in the second quarter if peak Chinese demand fails to kick in, Jinrui Futures Co. said in a note. Chinese demand for industrial metals usually rises after factories step up activities after the Lunar New Year break at the beginning of the year. 

Copper was trading up 0.7% at $9,135.50 a ton as of 3:46 p.m. local time on the LME. Other metals were mixed, with nickel down 1.1% and aluminum up 0.4%. 

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