Activity in the copper market has picked up since a rush of Chinese speculators sent prices soaring in November. And interest has continued to gain steam in the new year. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Comex copper futures have hit seven records in open interest since the start of the year, according to CME Group. Open interest measures the number of open positions in copper futures, and an increase tends to indicate rising activity as producers and investors place new bets. Open interest hit its most recent record on Monday at 259,370 contracts. This is compared to 18 new open interest records in 2016, set in the first half of the year. Open interest also grew 30% over 2016.