Precious Metals

Checking in on the rise of copper

The price of copper is soaring in the global trading market, reaching the $7,000 mark for the first time in three years. What's caused the late-summer spike?

Image courtesy of iStock/Getty

A common, yet unheralded metal has enjoyed a recent surge in the global market, as copper topped $7,000 per metric ton on Monday — its highest mark in three years, according to Market Watch.

As with many of the world’s precious and base metals, we look at the China markets to gain a better understanding of what is pushing the number.

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China’s producer prices increased 6.9 percent, year on year, in September, which followed a 6.3 percent year-on-year rise in August.

These rising prices were coupled with a consumer-price index growth rate for China of 1.6 percent, year-on-year, in September, compared to August’s 1.8 percent year-on-year increase. 

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The result was a break through the $7,000 per metric ton mark for copper.

The trading market has responded accordingly, as active copper dealings on the Shanghai Futures Exchange reached its highest level in nearly five years according to the Commerzbank.

As with all trends in the metals trading marketplace, each action is met with a reaction — and this increase in speculative purchases only helped boost copper’s overall value.

Copper is a base metal, used for electricity conducting in various settings. It can be found in virtually every piece of technology, one way or another. It is a flexible metal that can be manipulated and alloyed with other minerals relatively easily.

ING, the wholesale banking juggernaut, said in a note that “the numbers also coincided with the implementation of government-mandated capacity cuts across a number of industries in China, and that was also influencing broader base metals prices.”

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