April 20th, 2012

Copper Futures – Copper traders are bullish for the first time in six weeks on mounting confidence that demand will accelerate in line with economies at a time when mining companies are already failing to keep up with consumption.

Eleven of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the metal to climb next week and 10 were neutral. Rio Tinto Group (RIO), based in London, said April 17 that its first-quarter copper output slid 18 percent because the ore mined contained less metal. Codelco, the largest copper producer, said the following day that it sees no weakening in Chinese buying. Barclays Capital is predicting a third consecutive year of shortages.

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April 13th, 2012

Copper futures fell, capping the biggest weekly decline since mid-December, on concern that demand may falter amid slowing economic growth in China, the world’s top consumer.

China’s economy expanded 8.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, government data showed today. That was the lowest in almost three years and trailed the 8.4 percent median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Copper also declined after a private report showed that U.S. consumer confidence slipped in April.

“China’s economy was weaker than expected, and the U.S. consumer sentiment figures only add to the concerns that copper demand may slow,” Dennis Cajigas, a senior market strategist at Zaner Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

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April 5th, 2012

Copper futures may rise in New York before reports projected to indicate a firm job market in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.

Figures today probably will show first-time claims for jobless benefits reached a four-year low last week, a Bloomberg News survey of economists showed. A report tomorrow may show payrolls increased by more than 200,000 workers for a fourth month, according to a separate survey.

“There is a significant probability that industrial metals will rebound soon,” Tobias Merath, head of commodity research at Credit Suisse Group AG’s private-banking unit, wrote in a report. “U.S. nonfarm payrolls could be a trigger for this.”

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March 30th, 2012

Commodity Brokers – Copper traders are the most bearish in two months after stockpiles tracked by the biggest metals bourse rose for the first time in five weeks and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its recommendation on commodities to neutral.

Eleven of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect copper to drop next week, the highest proportion since Jan. 6. Seven were neutral. Inventories reported by the London Metal Exchange rose 1.4 percent on March 27, the first gain since Feb. 22. They retreated the following two days and rose again today. Reserves in Shanghai’s bonded warehouses tripled since November and any strengthening in demand next quarter may be “tepid,” Barclays Capital said in a report March 28.

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March 23rd, 2012

Copper Futures – Copper traders extended a bearish streak into a second week on mounting concern that demand is weakening after manufacturing contracted from China to Europe.

Twelve of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the metal to decline next week and seven were neutral. Inventories at bonded warehouses in Shanghai more than doubled since the fourth quarter, a survey of seven traders and analysts showed. Separate stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange are near the highest in at least nine years, bourse data show. China consumes 40 percent of the world’s copper.

Factory output in Germany and France unexpectedly shrank in March, adding to signs Europe is sliding into recession, and a measure of China’s manufacturing fell to the weakest since November, reports showed yesterday. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao cut the country’s annual growth target to 7.5 percent earlier this month, the lowest since 2004. Europe accounts for about 18 percent of global copper demand, Barclays Capital data show.

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February 28th, 2012

Copper futures rose to a two-week high as German legislators approved a second bailout for Greece, and U.S. and European gauges of economic confidence rose more than expected, pointing to improving growth and metals demand.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a parliamentary vote on Greek aid after warning lawmakers that pushing Greece out of the euro would risk “incalculable” damage. Confidence among U.S. consumers jumped in February to the highest level in a year, the Conference Board said today. The European Commission in Brussels said an index of executive and consumer sentiment climbed for a second month.

“Europe is going to do what they can to protect the euro, and there are signs that Greece is starting to live up to their agreements in holding back on spending,” Harry Denny, a broker at Hoboken, New Jersey-based PVM Futures Inc., said in a telephone interview. “The U.S. economy has shown tremendous stability, and that’s adding momentum” in copper-price gains, he said.

Copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $3.9215 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the third straight gain. Prices reached $3.9575, the highest for a most- active contract since Feb. 10.

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