Copper prices rose to 2-1/2 month highs on Friday and were on track for their biggest weekly gain in 15 months as investors bet on a revival of global economic activity.
Global stock markets were also near three-month highs as coronavirus lockdowns ease and the European Central Bank ramps up stimulus measures.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1.3% at $5,602.50 a tonne at 1056 GMT after hitting the highest since March 10. It had risen 4.2% this week.
“The balance of risks has shifted towards a more bullish near-term outlook for copper,” Citi analysts said, adding that prices could reach $5,750 within three months.
TECHNICALS: In a positive signal for prices, copper rose above its 100-day moving average, now at $5,417, and resistance around $5,540, the level of previous price lows in 2017, 2019 and earlier this year. It is now pushing towards its 200-day average at $5,655.
POSITIONING: Traders said copper was rising thanks in part to investors abandoning bets on lower prices. Speculative investors cut their net short in LME copper to 7% of open contracts by Tuesday, brokers Marex Spectron said.
CHINA: Prices were also supported by rumors that China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration will stockpile copper to support prices. Reuters has not been able to confirm the authenticity of this information.
COPPER STOCKS: Visible stockpiles continued to fall. On-warrant inventories in LME-registered warehouses fell by 5,875 tonnes to 159,300 tonnes, the lowest since March 13.
Stocks in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses slipped by 5,075 tonnes to 139,913 tonnes in the week to Friday, the third consecutive weekly decline.
PAYROLLS: U.S. unemployment data is due later in the day, with another dire reading expected.
OTHER METALS: Benchmark aluminum was up 0.5% at $1,579 a tonne, zinc rose 0.2% to $2,037.50, nickel gained 0.5% to $12,840, lead added 1.4% to $1,765.50 and tin was 0.5% higher at $16,150.