Copper prices have posted a strong rally up to 21/2 month highs this morning, with many traders pointing towards better than expected Chinese GDP data as a key source of market optimism. While the market received news of increased Chinese copper production during December as well as news of an overall rise in annual Chinese copper production, reports of a decline with Rio Tinto's fourth quarter mined copper output may have countervailed the Chinese production news. With the copper market finding support from the prospect of renewed monetary easing moves from the Chinese and the market also seeing a huge monthly improvement with a private survey of German economic sentiment, many traders may be increasing their demand expectations for copper. A weaker dollar, rising equities and strength in many industrial commodities are widely seen as providing additional support for copper.