Sep 17 (Bloomberg)--
Copper may rise on speculation that Federal Reserve actions will help to maintain demand in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal after China.
Eight of 15 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 53 percent, said the metal will gain next week. Six predicted lower prices and one forecast little change. Copper for delivery in three months was up 2.7 percent for this week at $7,685 a metric ton at 2 p.m. yesterday on the London Metal Exchange.
The U.S. central bank’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet on Sept. 21. Treasury two-year note yields were within three basis points of a record low yesterday on speculation the Fed will announce more purchases of U.S. debt, or quantitative easing, this year to support the economic recovery.
"The risks are skewed to the upside because of the FOMC,” said David Thurtell, a Citigroup Inc. analyst in London. "If they launch quantitative easing, the market will buy copper because of the anticipated boost to demand.”
Should the Fed opt against further measures to support growth, "it will be because they read that the economy is doing well enough, which is bullish,” Thurtell said.
The Fed probably will leave the target rate for overnight loans between banks at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent to help spur growth, a Bloomberg survey of economists shows.
The red bars on the attached chart are derived by subtracting bearish forecasts from bullish estimates, with readings below zero signaling the majority of respondents expect a decline. The green line shows the copper price. The survey data shown are as of Sept. 10.
The weekly copper survey has forecast prices accurately in 50 of the past 103 weeks, or 49 percent of the time.
This week’s survey results: Bullish: 8 Bearish: 6 Hold: 1