Copper Up, But Hedge Funds and Money Managers Now Betting Against It

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Hedge funds and other money managers are increasing their bets against copper, according to US data, amplifying pressure on prices following allegations of fraudulent metal-backed financing in China, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The wagers are likely to further weigh on the outlook for one of the world’s most heavily traded metals, as the effects of an official probe on stockpiles in the eastern Chinese port of Qingdao continue to ripple across global markets. The port’s operator has confirmed that Chinese authorities are investigating allegations of fraud relating to stockpiles of metals, though the government hasn’t commented publicly.

Chinese copper wire saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 1.5 percent to close at CNY 49,760 ($7,988) per metric ton on Friday, June 20. Chinese copper bar prices inched up 1.0 percent to CNY 50,620 ($8,126) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price rose 1.0 percent to CNY 50,820 ($8,158) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 44,300 ($7,111) per metric ton.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 increased 0.5 percent to $3.77 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 gained 0.5 percent to finish at $3.77 per pound. At $3.96, the price of US copper producer grade 102 finished the market day up 0.5 percent per pound. Following a couple days of improvement, the Japanese copper cash price weakened by 0.3 percent. Prices closed at JPY 715,000 ($7,015) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of copper saw a 0.2 percent decline on the LME to $6,723 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper declined 0.1 percent to $6,730 per metric ton.

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