Greek Austerity Fears Drive Copper Further Into its 4-Year Low

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Copper fell to the lowest in more than 4 years amid concern that Greece will leave the euro area and default on debt, crimping the outlook for European demand.

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Some Greek politicians promised to ditch austerity measures if they win elections this month. The euro fell to an almost 9-year low versus the dollar. Copper slid 17% in 2014 amid signs of slowing demand from Europe and China, the world’s biggest user.

“The Greek issue is one more negative factor,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, told Bloomberg Businessweek in a telephone interview. “Unless the China situation improves or they announce some major stimulus, I don’t think concerns about copper are going away.”

Closing at CNY 47,000 ($7,565) per metric ton on Friday, January 2, Chinese copper bar saw the biggest change at a 0.9%. The Chinese copper cash price weakened by 0.9%, settling at CNY 47,200 ($7,597) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire finished the day down 0.5% to CNY 46,320 ($7,455) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap continues hovering around CNY 40,400 ($6,502) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 showed little movement last Friday at $3.54 per pound. The cash price of primary Japanese copper remained essentially flat at JPY 794,000 ($6,623) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 102 held steady last Friday, remaining around $3.73 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $3.54 per pound.

Following a couple of essentially changeless days, the primary copper cash price rose by 0.5% on the LME, closing at $6,358 per metric ton. At $6,289, the 3-month price of copper finished the market day on the LME up 0.3% per metric ton.

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