Inflation Fear and Green Hope Drive Investors Into Copper – by Jack Farchy and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – November 29, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — The copper market is experiencing a wave of investor interest the likes of which it hasn’t seen for a decade. A flood of investor dollars lifted the bellwether industrial metal to a seven-year high of $7,520 a ton this week.

But traders, recalling the last major copper bull market when the metal topped $10,000 a ton in 2011, are braced for further fireworks as the prospect of a global economic rebound spurs worries about inflation, and governments plow money into metals-intensive “green” stimulus packages.

“We’re in an unprecedented situation as there’s more money than ever before sitting around looking for something to do,” says Mark Hansen, chief executive of London-based metals trading house Concord Resources Ltd.

“Copper may not have had an investment theme with the potential of ‘green’ applications since the demand-driven bull market 10 years ago.”

It’s a remarkable turnaround. The copper market, like almost all of the commodities sector, has been in the doldrums for the better part of a decade. Prices fell more than 50% from their record high in 2011, trading below $5,000 a ton during a slump in 2015-16 and again in 2020.

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