NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- May copper futures extended recent gains on Wednesday, rising 2.5% to $4.37 a pound and hitting a one-week high amid speculation that Chinese rate hikes won't temper the country's appetite for copper.
"We suspect the Chinese rate rises are not doing much to dislodge the upward run in commodities, as investors have yet to see any fallout from tighter money coming out in the way of deteriorating Chinese macro data," said MF Global analyst Ed Meir.
"Until that happens, it seems that most markets are either going to push higher (such as oil) or stay at elevated levels (such as many of the base metals)," Meir said.Fanning the flames of copper bulls was copper-producing behemoth Freeport-McMoRan (FCX - Get Report), which said that China's hunger for copper continues unabated despite its fiscal tightening and that the country's inventory of the metal will be depleted in the coming months. Shares of Freeport were falling 0.4% to $56.39; Southern Copper (SCCO - Get Report) was down 0.6% to $40.23. Copper miner Taseko Mines (TGB - Get Report) was flat at $5.94.