Investors Warming Up to Copper, Bull Market May be in Play

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Some investors are turning bullish on copper prices, brushing aside concerns sparked by a probe into the metal’s place in China’s financial system, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

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Instead, these investors are focusing on a rebound in manufacturing worldwide, which they expect will boost copper demand broadly. Increasing consumption by factories will offset any decline in the use of copper as collateral to back loans as a result of the probe, these investors say. China is the world’s largest copper consumer and importer, though how much of the metal goes to manufacturers is unclear.

Copper prices hit a four-month high last Monday.

At JPY 756,000 ($7,397) per metric ton, the Japanese copper cash price moved up 1.6 percent on Friday, July 4, making it the day’s biggest mover. Following a two-day rise, the price of US copper producer grade 110 flattened at $3.95. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of US copper producer grade 102 held steady at $4.14. The price of US copper producer grade 122 flattened at $3.95 after two days of improvement.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper bar prices rose 0.3 percent to CNY 53,200 ($8,564) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price rose 0.3 percent to CNY 53,400 ($8,596) per metric ton. At CNY 52,300 ($8,419), the price of Chinese copper wire finished the market day up 0.2 percent per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady at CNY 44,300 ($7,131) per metric ton.

On the LME, the 3-month price of copper gained 1.2 percent to finish at $7,118 per metric ton. At $7,121, the cash price of primary copper finished the market day on the LME up 1.0 percent per metric ton.

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