LONDON: Copper hit a fresh 10-year high on Wednesday as some of the world’s largest economies showed signs recovery from the COVID-19 impact, boosting expectations of increased demand.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) touched $10,040 a tonne, its highest since Feb. 2011 when the contract hit a record of $10,190 a tonne.
But by 1517 GMT, copper was trading 0.4% lower at $9,922 a tonne.
“It makes sense for market to take stock after hitting the key technical level of $10,000 a tonne,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.
He said consumers could pause buying while they adjust to the higher prices.
Market euphoria over the reopening of economies and speculative buying was the trigger for the move higher, analysts said.
The US economy is growing at its fastest rate since the early 1980s, while British manufacturing activity grew at its quickest in almost 27 years last month.
Speculators raised their bets on prices climbing, with the net long position at 42% of open interest, according to brokerage Marex Spectron.
Long positions on the CME’s copper contract rose to 55,515 contracts, the highest since March 9, the latest Commitments of Traders Report found.
LME copper stocks fell to 132,775 tonnes, their lowest since March 29.
The premium of the cash copper contract over the three-month contract was erased, after touching $30 a tonne two weeks ago, pointing to an easing in supply concerns.
The copper price rally spurred a rebound in global smelting activity in April from the lowest levels in at least five years in the previous month, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed.
China’s super-charged buying reshapes the copper market.
LME aluminium gained 0.1% to $2,431 a tonne, zinc was down 1.6% to $2,922, and lead inched up 0.6% to $2,185.50 while tin rose 1.6% to $29,460, and nickel added 2% to $29,550 and $18,013 respectively.