Fed Tapering of Stimulus Still Hurting Copper

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Copper ended higher on Friday but still took a large weekly loss after the Federal Reserve’s decision to further trim its quantitative easing stimulus program, which has provided commodity markets with liquidity. US job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than two years in April, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter.

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The data released on Friday further supported the Fed’s decision to continue curtailing its monetary stimulus – a negative for commodities such as copper because it withdraws liquidity from the market.

With a decline of 1.4 percent to JPY 708,000 ($6,922) per metric ton on Friday, May 2, the cash price of Japanese copper recorded the biggest decline of the day. The price of US copper producer grade 110 saw little price change last Friday at $3.72 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 saw little movement last Friday, closing out around $3.91 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $3.72 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices closed flat for the day. At CNY 50,680 ($8,096) per metric ton, the price of Chinese copper bar was essentially unchanged. The Chinese copper cash price showed little movement last Friday at CNY 50,880 ($8,128) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire stayed flat at around CNY 49,780 ($7,953) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady at CNY 44,300 ($7,077) per metric ton.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price declined 1.0 percent to $6,641 per metric ton. The primary copper cash price weakened by 0.8 percent on the LME, settling at $6,670 per metric ton.

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