Copper prices are posting gains this morning in spite of a 7th straight month of contraction in a private survey of Chinese manufacturing. Some traders feel that a portion of the negative Chinese demand fears may have been offset by favorable private Chinese copper demand predictions, or perhaps the fear of slumping Chinese demand was balanced against news of fresh Chinese infrastructure spending projects. Other traders find it surprising to see copper prices in positive territory this morning after this morning's weaker than expected European data. Copper and other physical commodity markets may be taking their direction from fresh hopes of coordinated easing prospects, or perhaps from the idea that Greece might be able to make an orderly exit from the Euro zone. While copper hasn't paid that much attention to the supply side of the equation lately, it is possible that news of reduced production from Chile's Codelco during the 1st quarter over year-ago levels provided copper prices with some moderate support. In looking ahead today, the reaction in copper to this morning's US data could prove to be very critical, as many traders want to see confirmation that weak data will in fact lift copper prices higher.