Copper Extends Rebound on Optimism About Trade

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Copper prices rallied Thursday, bringing their two-day climb to 4.5% on hopes that coming trade talks could relieve some pressure on the global economy.

Copper for December delivery, the most-active futures contract, rose 1.8% to $2.642 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, extending their rebound from a day earlier. The 4.5% rally over the past two days marked copper’s largest two-day advance since November 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

After hitting a new multiyear low earlier in the week, the industrial metal critical to construction and manufacturing has stabilized, with analysts feeling less pessimistic about the world economy.

Copper Continuous ContractSource: FactSetAs of Sept. 6, 10:10 a.m. ET

Sept. 2Sept. 4Sept. 62.4502.4752.5002.5252.5502.5752.6002.6252.650$2.675

Signs of easing tensions in Hong Kong and hopes that the U.K. Parliament could prevent a messy Brexit lifted copper and other risk assets Wednesday, and confirmation that the U.S. and China plan to hold trade talks in early October boosted prices again Thursday.

Anxiety that a prolonged trade war will weaken global growth and further soften demand for industrial commodities has hurt copper recently, so confirmation from both sides that talks will be held in Washington next month quelled some trade fears, analysts said.

The recent rebound for copper shows some investors are still holding out hope that a trade compromise and lower interest rates can boost the economy despite recent recessionary signals. Those hopes have lifted stocks around the world in recent days, and equities also rallied Thursday.

Because China accounts for roughly half of global copper consumption, investors will be closely monitoring growth figures and signs of government measures to stimulate activity in the world’s second-largest economy in the coming weeks.

Some analysts remain skeptical that prices will sustain their rebound because the U.S. and China have continued to ramp up tariffs on the other side’s imports and previous rounds of negotiations haven’t yielded a trade deal. At the same time, manufacturing data around the world show factory activity contracting.

Elsewhere in commodities Thursday, U.S. crude oil added 0.1% to $56.30 a barrel, also continuing a recent recovery after inventory data showed domestic stockpiles fell more than expected during the week ended Aug. 30. Brent crude, the global price gauge, rose 0.4% to $60.95 a barrel.

Natural-gas futures edged down 0.4% to $2.435 a million British thermal units after government figures showed inventories rose more than analysts had projected last week.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com

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