Copper prices edged up today on the London Metal Exchange, hovering near their highest in almost five months. Prices have rallied more than seven percent since mid-June to above the $7,000 a ton mark, driven by a lack of supply and a cheerier chart picture that has encouraged fresh allocation by funds.
China’s moves to loosen monetary policy have also fed copper’s rally, which may stretch further after Wednesday’s relatively benign inflation data handed policy makers scope for fresh action, Jonathan Barratt, chief executive of commodity research firm Barratt’s Bulletin in Sydney, told Reuters.
“CPI lower than expected indicates support for the story of stimulus. [Premier Li] has got room and money to move. And I think that’s been the core that over the last couple of weeks that has seen metals prices higher,” he said.
Three-month copper on the LME had gained 0.4 percent to $7,155 a ton by 0747 GMT, from the previous session when it hit its highest since Feb. 19 at $7,212 a ton. Prices are now inching towards the February top of $7,220, which would open the way to levels last seen in late January.
The cash price of primary copper fell 0.5 percent on Tuesday to $7,120 per metric ton on the LME before its rally today. The 3-month price of copper declined 0.5 percent on the LME to $7,115 per metric ton, after two days of improvement Tuesday.
The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw a 0.5 percent decline to $3.94 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.5 percent to $3.94 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 0.5 percent to $4.13 per pound. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the cash price of primary Japanese copper dropped 0.3 percent to JPY 761,000 ($7,474) per metric ton.
Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar fell 0.4 percent to CNY 52,500 ($8,461) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 0.4 percent, settling at CNY 52,700 ($8,494) per metric ton. At CNY 51,795 ($8,348) per metric ton, the price of Chinese copper wire was essentially unchanged. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,140) per metric ton.