Copper Rallies on Chinese Infrastructure Hopes

Beckett Bronze produces cast bronze precision-machined parts and continuous cast bars. Castings are manufactured at the East 20th Street plant. The West 23rd Street plant produces finished machined parts and has about 75 machine tools including CNC lathes.


Copper prices rose after Beijing announced new measures to stimulate economic activity in the world’s second-largest economy, extending the metal’s gains for a second consecutive session.

Copper for July delivery, the most-active futures contract, climbed 0.4% to $2.6715 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices advanced for the fifth time in the past seven sessions, though they are still about 10% below their April high on fears that trade tensions will slow the global economy and crimp demand for industrial metals.

Uncertainty surrounding U.S.-China trade policy and the Asian nation’s stimulus measures have contributed to volatility in materials in recent months because China is the world’s largest consumer of commodities, accounting for roughly half of global copper demand.

Beijing said late Monday it would accelerate financing of major infrastructure projects via “special-purpose bonds” issued by local governments, the latest effort by Chinese officials to bolster growth amid the trade uncertainty. The move spurred a 2.6% rally in the benchmark Shanghai Composite—the equity index’s largest one-day advance since May 10—as some investors and analysts wager that an eventual trade agreement and stimulus measures will boost the outlook for the Chinese economy.

Other industrial metals also climbed alongside copper, with zinc, nickel and lead each advancing 1% or more on the London Metal Exchange.

Despite Tuesday’s rebound, some investors expect trade negotiations to stoke further volatility for industrial metals. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G-20 summit at the end of this month.

Hedge funds and other speculative investors remain cautious. During the week ended June 4, they pushed net bearish bets on copper to their highest level since November 2016, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Among precious metals, most-active Comex gold futures closed up 0.1% at $1,331.20 a troy ounce Tuesday, supported by a declining dollar that made commodities cheaper for overseas buyers.

Elsewhere in commodities, U.S. crude-oil futures added less than 0.1% to $53.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bouncing back from a Monday decline as investors looked ahead to coming data on domestic stockpiles.

Brent crude, the global oil-price gauge, was unchanged at $62.29 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.

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


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