‘Dr. Copper’ Plunges, But Is the Doctor Even Still Practicing?

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If you believe the so-called Doctor Copper theory, the diagnosis for stocks is not good.

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Copper futures plunged to a 4½-year low Sunday evening, before staging a bit of a resurgence Monday. But with the industrial metal down nearly 9% in the past three months, the “Doctor Copper” theory has become a warning, for some, about where stocks are going.

The theory holds that copper is able to sense economic turning points early, and thus measure the health of a stock market rally. However, if the doctor even exists, still, is a BIG if. MetalMiner Editor-At-Large Stuart Burns wrote back in August that the theory may no longer hold true. If it ever really did in the first place.

Chinese bright copper scrap saw a 8.2% drop on Monday, December 1, landing at CNY 38,750 ($6,308) per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. A $2,740 decline in the Chinese copper cash price left the price at CNY 45,530 ($7,411) per metric ton. Chinese copper bar was down 5.0% from the previous market day, closing at CNY 45,650 ($7,431) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire took a large hit on Monday, sliding down 3.1% before landing at CNY 45,650 ($7,431) per metric ton.

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The Japanese copper cash price rose 0.4% to JPY 810,000 ($6,816) per metric ton after a two-day drop. The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw little change in its price on Monday at $3.66 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 saw little price change yesterday at $3.85 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 remained essentially flat at $3.66 per pound.

On the LME, the cash price of primary copper fell 1.6% to $6,515 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of copper declined 1.5% to $6,460 per metric ton.

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