China Cuts Bank Reserve Requirements to Stimulate Economy, Boosts Copper

Copper prices rose to a 2-week high on Wednesday after top consumer China’s central bank moved to add more liquidity to the economy, raising optimism about the outlook for growth.

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Concerns about rising copper stockpiles and uncertainty about demand, however, kept prices in check.

China’s central bank cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the first industry-wide cut since May 2012, to help boost bank lending and combat a growth slowdown.

The Japanese copper cash price saw the biggest increase at 1.3%, finishing at JPY 678,000 ($5,766) per metric ton for Tuesday, February 3. The price of US copper producer grade 110 saw a 0.3% decline to $3.23 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 weakened by 0.3%, settling at $3.23 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 0.3% to $3.42 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. After a 1.0% increase, Chinese copper bar finished the day at CNY 41,630 ($6,649) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper rose 1.0% to CNY 41,830 ($6,681) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire gained 0.8% to finish at CNY 40,770 ($6,511) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 33,600 ($5,366) per metric ton.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price rose 0.8% to $5,505 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the primary copper cash price increased 0.6% to $5,535 per metric ton.

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