Forget gold price. The real Trump rally is in copper

While the gold price has given up much of its initial surge following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections, staying stuck below $1,300 early on Thursday, the rally in industrial metals were only gaining momentum.

In pre-regular hours trade on Thursday copper for delivery in December jumped more than 10 cents from Wednesday trading as high as $2.5910 per pound ($5,712 a tonne) in New York.

That’s up more than 12% since the eve of the election and the highest since early July last year.  Copper has risen during 13 of the last 14 trading sessions, adding 23.8% in just over two weeks.

Measured from recent multi-year lows hit at the end of 2015 and in January and February this year the recovery in prices this year is even more impressive

The rally comes on the back of Trump’s general support for the extractive industries and his pledge during his acceptance speech for fiscal spending geared towards rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure — which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

“I believe an infrastructure bill of $500 billion is now possible,” David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors told NPR adding that “the introduction of it comes in early 2017, after the new regime takes office.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $125 billion infrastructure program shortly after taking office last year, while China is in the midst of a three-year $720 billion transport build-out program and the Asian country already spends more on infrastructure than Europe and the US combined.

Base metals have already enjoyed a breakout 2016 with across the board gains year-to-date and optimism about a Trump administration’s impact on the sector has re-ignited prices.

Measured from recent lows which mostly occurred at the end of 2015 and in January and February this year the recovery in prices this year is even more impressive:

Zinc is up 73% from 52-week lows to exchange hands for $2,558 a tonne in London on Thursday. Tin has added 63% to $21,750 from its January lows while nickel at $11,810 is up 53% after hitting multi-year lows in February. Aluminum’s rise has been less spectacular but the metal is also firmly in bull market territory with a 24% rise since hitting multi-year lows in November last year.

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