Column: Hedge funds up the bear ante on Doctor Copper and friends – by Andy Home (Reuters – July 11, 2022)

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – Hedge funds are piling the pressure on Doctor Copper and his metallic friends. Money manager positioning on the CME copper contract is as bearish as it has been since the first quarter of 2020 when industrial metals prices collapsed as China, followed by just about everyone else, went into COVID-19 lockdown.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) copper price is still far above its March 2020 low of $4,371 per tonne. Currently trading at $7,700, it’s also a long way below its March 2022 peak of $10,845.

Fears of Western recession are growing and China’s promised stimulus-driven bounce-back is being constrained by rolling coronavirus restrictions. Passive funds have taken money off the long side of the metal markets and systematic funds have accumulated short positions as they chase downwards price momentum across the LME spectrum.


Money managers were net short of the CME copper contract to the tune of 26,497 contracts as of the close of business last Tuesday (July 5), the highest level of bear conviction since the COVID-19 collapse of 2020.

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