Man or machine? Explaining copper’s extraordinary rally – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. November 11, 2016)

LONDON – It will probably go down in the history books as the Trump Rally. Copper is on course to record its biggest weekly rally in 35 years. It’s a stand-out even amid the turbulence that has rocked the broader financial universe. Trading volumes have gone super nova.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) has seen over 205,000 lots trade on its benchmark three-month contract since Monday, already an all-time weekly record and the week isn’t over yet. On the CME copper traded 256,017 contracts on Wednesday, also an all-time daily record.

The entire global copper market, it seems, has been repositioned from bear to bull territory in a matter of days. And while there is no doubt the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President has acted as an accelerator, there is more to this explosive price action than as yet vaguely-defined promises of infrastructure spending and reflation.

Copper’s extraordinary 20 percent (and still counting) price surge has been as much machine-made as man-made. This rally began last month. On Oct. 25 to be precise.

LME three-month copper opened that day at $4,649 per tonne and closed at $4,735. It has since recorded 14 consecutive days of higher closes.

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