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Copper price highest since June on China optimism

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The copper price rose on Wednesday to its highest levels since June as speculators bet that low inventories and rising Chinese demand will lift prices.

Copper for delivery in March rose on the Comex market in New York, touching $4.35 per pound ($9,581 per tonne), up 3% compared to Tuesday’s closing.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

Investors believe China’s lifting of covid-19 restrictions will enable its economy to bounce back from last year’s slump.

Demand will improve, said BMO analyst Colin Hamilton. “It (copper) is running a little bit ahead of fundamentals, but there’s just no inventory,” he said.

Chinese bonded warehouses and warehouses registered with the LME, the COMEX and Shanghai Futures exchanges contain around 285,000 tonnes of copper, significantly below levels typical before the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’d normally be building inventory at this time of the year but we aren’t,” Hamilton said.

Related: Antofagasta 2022 copper output down 10%, 2023 guidance unchanged

(With files from Reuters)

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