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Copper Price Posts Biggest Gain Of The Year

tED magazine is continuing to follow the price of copper on a regular basis.  Starting in early April, we will begin weekly updates on copper prices on tedmag.com.

(AP) – After a rocky couple of weeks, the price of copper had its biggest gain of the year on Tuesday as investors hoped for economic stimulus from China.

Copper has fallen sharply this month, and is down 7 percent since March 6, when it traded at $3.22 a pound. On Tuesday, the heavily traded May contract for copper rose 6 cents, or 2 percent, to $3.01 a pound.

Traders are hoping that the metal’s recent slide may be ending and that China will take more action to shore up its economy. China is a huge importer of copper and tends to use more of it when its manufacturing sector is thriving.

“The copper market has suffered mightily for the early part of March, and we had enough of a consolidation at the bottom that you have less of an interest in people continuing to sell,” said Sterling Smith, a commodities analyst at Citigroup.

“You’ve got some fresh speculative buying predicated on the Chinese taking a little more aggressive stance in dealing with the slowdown in their economy,” he said.

Rueters is reporting prices could see a significant increase in copper consumption in China this year, which could boost the price by as much as 7.5%.  Reuters is also reporting an additional increase in copper consumption in the United States and Europe, which could make the price increase even more. 

The head of China’s top copper producer told Rueters he expects to see the price of copper start to increase immediately, but could not estimate when copper will hit its peak price in 2014.

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