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Markets

Copper at one-month high on stimulus hopes, soft dollar

  • Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) added 1% to trade at $8,118 per tonne.
  • Its a macro-driven story for copper at the moment. Market participants are euphoric and equities are at record highs.
Published February 9, 2021

LONDON: Copper hit a one-month high on Tuesday due to a weaker dollar, optimism over a $1.9 trillion stimulus package and tight supplies of the metal.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) added 1% to trade at $8,118 per tonne by 1130 GMT. This was its highest since Jan. 8 when it hit its strongest level since 2013 at $8,238.

"Its a macro-driven story for copper at the moment. Market participants are euphoric and equities are at record highs, pushing commodities up," said Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank, adding that the weaker dollar was "another tailwind for copper".

DOLLAR: The dollar languished near its lowest in a week, while the United States prepared to pass a potential $1.9-trillion stimulus package in a few weeks.

A weaker dollar makes copper, priced in the US greenback, more attractive to global buyers.

STOCKS: Total copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses climbed 1,475 tonnes to 76,050 tonnes but are still hovering near their lowest since Dec. 2005.

Cancelled inventory -- stock earmarked for delivery -- was high at 28% and fuelled concerns over a tight LME market.

SPREADS: The premium for cash copper over the three-month LME contract, at about $13, is at its tightest since September.

Inventories of copper on Comex and the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) are also near their lowest in years.

POSITIONING: Speculators have trimmed their net long positions in copper futures from recent highs.

CHINA LOANS: China's new bank loans leapt to new highs in January boosted by seasonal demand, while broad credit growth -- an important leading indicator for metals demand-- slowed.

OTHER PRICES: Aluminium rose 1.3% to $2,054 per tonne, zinc added 1.3% to $2,685, lead gained 0.7% to $2,087, tin eased 0.1% to $23,045 while nickel climbed 1.2% to $18,385.

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