Copper Correction Coming? LME Bears Hold the Keys

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Is there potential for a stronger oil-like correction in the copper market? Reuters’ Andy Home writes that much depends on the size and nature of the collective short positions initiated by bearish traders on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the London Metal Exchange last month.

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“While there are signs of a partial bear retreat in Shanghai,” Home wrote, “the positioning landscape is a lot murkier on the LME.

The cash price of Japanese copper saw a 3.5% increase on Thursday, February 5, reaching JPY 701,000 ($5,976) per metric ton and making it the biggest mover for the day. The price of US copper producer grade 110 gained 0.6% to finish at $3.33 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.6% to $3.33 per pound. After a 0.6% increase, the price of US copper producer grade 102 finished the day at $3.52 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were down for the day. The price of Chinese copper wire closed at CNY 41,310 ($6,614) per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 1.2%. Following two days of rising prices, the price of Chinese copper bar dropped 1.0% to CNY 42,180 ($6,753) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price declined 1.0% to CNY 42,380 ($6,785) per metric ton, after two days of improvement. After three essentially changeless days, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap dropped 0.6% on Thursday to CNY 33,400 ($5,347) per metric ton.

At $5,707, the primary copper cash price finished the market day on the LME up 0.3% per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price gained 0.3% to finish at $5,685 per metric ton.

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