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Hedge funds make $5 billion bet on rising copper price

Copper cathodes. Image by Glencore.

The copper price hit an 18-month high on an intraday basis last week as global manufacturing activity continues to pick up and hopes about US president-elect Trump’s $500 billion infrastructure plans lift sentiment.

Hedge funds make $5 billion bet on rising copper priceIn Asian trade on Monday copper for delivery in March, the most active contract, jumped 1% to exchange hands for $2.6515 per pound ($5,845 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

After vastly underperforming other metals and steelmaking raw materials in 2016, copper is looking much healthier than pre-Trump with a 34% rise from six-year lows hit in January this year.

Better prospects for the bellwether metal is nowhere more evident than on derivatives markets and the shift in positioning of large-scale derivatives speculators such as hedge funds.

While continuing to reduce bullish silver, platinum and gold bets, on the copper market hedge funds have added to long positions – bets on higher prices in future – for four weeks in a row.

According to the CFTC’s weekly Commitment of Traders data up to November 29  so-called managed money investors have taken net longs to a fresh recored high of just under 81,000 lots.

That’s the equivalent of just over 2 billion pounds and shatters the previous peaks achieved mid-2014 when the copper price was above $3.20 a pound.


Hedge funds make $5 billion bet on rising copper price