Copper continues uptrend amid speculation

Copper climbed for a sixth day to the highest level in 16 months, adding to the biggest annual gain in more than two decades in 2009, on speculation supplies may not keep pace with demand in a global economic recovery.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange gained as much as 1.2 per cent to $7,464 a metric tonne, the highest price since September 1, 2008. It traded at $7,427 a tonne in Singapore. The metal more than doubled last year as governments worldwide ramped up spending to lift their economies out of recession and as the dollar slid 4.2 per cent against a basket of six currencies, including the euro and yen.

March-delivery copper on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 1.4 per cent to $3.3945 a pound, the highest since August 29, 2008. April-delivery copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added as much as 1.2 per cent to Y60,710 ($8,893) a tonne, the highest for a most-active contract since August 4, 2008, before ending the day at Y60,030.

Manufacturing in China expanded by the most in five years in December, HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics said. The official Purchasing Managers' Index released on January 1 rose to 56.6, which was the biggest expansion in 20 months. Copper advanced as workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile prepared to strike yesterday, after contract talks broke down on December 31.

 

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