World Economy

Copper Touches Four-Week High

Investors are looking ahead to an increase in demand in coming months.Investors are looking ahead to an increase in demand in coming months.

Copper prices touched their highest in four weeks on Tuesday as speculators kept buying in response to expectations of potential shortages in China, while nickel and zinc slipped on the back of losses in steel.

China announced plans in July and August to curb waste imports, including scrap metal, but it was unclear how severe the restrictions would be on copper, CNBC reported.

“I think copper’s pricing in expectations of the Chinese restrictions on scrap imports, but to me the price looks a little high based on current fundamentals,” Colin Hamilton, director of commodities research at BMO Capital Markets, said.

Investors were also looking ahead to an increase in demand in coming months, John Meyer at SP Angel, said. “Concerns of tight supply ahead of a traditional peak demand season for copper is expected to lend support to copper prices throughout the day,” he said in a note.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.4% at $6,691.50 a ton after touching $6,735, the highest since Sept. 12.

Steel-linked metals zinc and nickel were pressured after Shanghai rebar steel futures slid nearly 5% while steelmaking raw materials extended losses on worries over plentiful supply. Three month LME nickel, largely used to make stainless steel, shed 0.7% to $10,940 a ton.

Zinc, mainly used in galvanizing steel to make it rust resistant, edged down 0.2% to $3,228 a ton. It is one of the top LME performers, rallying 25% this year on worries of shortages due to mine closures and an environmental crackdown in China.


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