Copper Future prices surge
Economic data and action by central banks have resulted in copper futures prices surging to their highest levels in more than three weeks yesterday, before falling again this morning.
Coordinated effort by major central banks to stabilise the global financial system lured buyers to the battered market yesterday, sending the copper contract for January delivery 5.5% higher as news that the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and four others agreed to lower the price on existing dollar-liquidity swap arrangements, making dollar funding cheaper for banks, sparking a rally in growth-sensitive commodities. In a separate move, the People's Bank of China said it would decrease the amount of money lenders must deposit with the central bank, effectively increasing the availability of cash in China. Lifting sentiment further and increasing the demand for the red metal were better-than-expected readings on the Chicago PMI data and US private-sector hiring, which added more jobs than expected in November. However, the rally was short-lived as poor Chinese manufacturing data released this morning showed that China's factory sector shrank in November for the first time in nearly three years.
The official PMI fell to 49 in November from 50.4 the previous month, while the HSBC China PMI reading dropped to a two-and-a-half year low of 47.7 in November from October's 51. Meanwhile, the world’s second-largest consumer of the metal also saw a contraction in manufacturing activity as PMI fell to 46.4 in November, down from October's 47.1. With the manufacturing sector weakening globally, yesterday’s euphoria from intervention by central banks faded as investors soon realised that the eurozone crisis is far from over, sending copper for January delivery 0.5% lower this morning to $3.55 per pound.
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