Copper Ends Lower On Trader Caution, Bernanke-Shanghai Metals Market

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Copper Ends Lower On Trader Caution, Bernanke

Industry News 09:00:07AM Feb 03, 2012 Source:SMM

Feb 02, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures slumped 1.6% Thursday as stern words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a looming U.S. employment report spooked some investors out of the market.

The most actively traded contract, for March delivery, fell 6.10 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $3.7810 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper futures extended their declines on Bernanke's testimony to the House Budget Committee. He expressed frustration at the slow pace of economic recovery, telling lawmakers that monetary policy was "not a panacea" and urging them to actively address the twin challenges of sluggish growth and vast public debt load.

"The question he can't ask is 'why can't you people pass anything?'," said Ira Epstein, director of the Ira Epstein division at the Linn Group. "Once his speech got out of the way we're back to wondering what's the next event that's going to move the market," he added.

The likely candidate is Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, the monthly report widely considered a barometer of economic health.

"Tomorrow is the big monthly unemployment number and this tends to make the markets a bit nervous and send traders to the sidelines," said Sterling Smith, analyst with Country Hedging.

Copper prices are sensitive to shifts in the labor market as employed consumers have more income to spend on goods that contain copper such as cell phones, cars and air conditioners.

Some investors chose to cash in recent gains ahead of Friday's data. Copper futures rallied 10% in January alone, leaving many market participants with hefty gains that could erode if employment data disappoint markets.

A stronger dollar also pressured copper prices. Copper is priced in dollars and tends to appear more expensive to investors who use other currencies when the greenback strengthens, damping their interest in the metal.

Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Mar $3.7810; down 6.10 cents; Range $3.7670-$3.8510
Apr $3.7885; down 6.05 cents; Range $3.7800-$3.8460

 

Key Words:  copper;slump 

Copper Ends Lower On Trader Caution, Bernanke

Industry News 09:00:07AM Feb 03, 2012 Source:SMM

Feb 02, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures slumped 1.6% Thursday as stern words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a looming U.S. employment report spooked some investors out of the market.

The most actively traded contract, for March delivery, fell 6.10 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $3.7810 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper futures extended their declines on Bernanke's testimony to the House Budget Committee. He expressed frustration at the slow pace of economic recovery, telling lawmakers that monetary policy was "not a panacea" and urging them to actively address the twin challenges of sluggish growth and vast public debt load.

"The question he can't ask is 'why can't you people pass anything?'," said Ira Epstein, director of the Ira Epstein division at the Linn Group. "Once his speech got out of the way we're back to wondering what's the next event that's going to move the market," he added.

The likely candidate is Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, the monthly report widely considered a barometer of economic health.

"Tomorrow is the big monthly unemployment number and this tends to make the markets a bit nervous and send traders to the sidelines," said Sterling Smith, analyst with Country Hedging.

Copper prices are sensitive to shifts in the labor market as employed consumers have more income to spend on goods that contain copper such as cell phones, cars and air conditioners.

Some investors chose to cash in recent gains ahead of Friday's data. Copper futures rallied 10% in January alone, leaving many market participants with hefty gains that could erode if employment data disappoint markets.

A stronger dollar also pressured copper prices. Copper is priced in dollars and tends to appear more expensive to investors who use other currencies when the greenback strengthens, damping their interest in the metal.

Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Mar $3.7810; down 6.10 cents; Range $3.7670-$3.8510
Apr $3.7885; down 6.05 cents; Range $3.7800-$3.8460

 

Key Words:  copper;slump