Copper Holds Steady, Chinese Investigation Still Looms

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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.

The Japanese copper cash price saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 0.8 percent to close at JPY 733,000 ($7,192) per metric ton on Wednesday, June 25. Following a two-day rise, the price of US copper producer grade 110 flattened at $3.84. The price of US copper producer grade 102 ended a two-day climb, settling at $4.03 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 steadied at $3.84 per pound following two-days of increases.

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Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. Chinese copper bar finished the day down 0.3 percent to CNY 51,100 ($8,200) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price declined 0.3 percent to CNY 51,300 ($8,232) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire closed 0.2 percent lower at CNY 50,270 ($8,067) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap continues hovering around CNY 44,300 ($7,109) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

After a couple of days of improving prices on the LME, the 3-month price of copper held steady at $6,875. The cash price of primary copper flattened at $6,898 after two days of improvement on the LME.

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