Copper Reaches Stability, But it Could be Brief

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Copper steadied on Wednesday on oil prices moving up from recent 5-1/2-year lows and a relief rally in global equities, but the metal’s gains were expected to be short-lived given mounting evidence of rising supply.

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Global equities stabilized from earlier falls as the oil price rebounded and as fears over a full-blown currency crisis in Russia subsided.

The price of Chinese copper wire fell 1.4% on Tuesday, December 16 to CNY 46,510 ($7,513) per metric ton, making it the day’s biggest mover. The price of Chinese copper bar closed at CNY 47,330 ($7,646) per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, prices fell by 1.3%. The cash price of Chinese copper changed direction with a 1.3% drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at CNY 47,530 ($7,678) per metric ton. At CNY 40,700 ($6,575) per metric ton, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap was essentially unchanged.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 fell 1.4% to a 30-day low of $3.60 per pound on Tuesday. US copper producer grade 110 saw its price drop 1.4% to a 30-day low of $3.60 per pound yesterday. The price of US copper producer grade 102 reached a 30-day low after decreasing 1.3% to $3.79 per pound. The Japanese copper cash price rose 0.1% to JPY 804,000 ($6,828) per metric ton.

On the LME, the cash price of primary copper increased 0.5% to $6,555 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price rose 0.3% to $6,500 per metric ton.

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