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Copper Prices Shine on China, Housing Outlook

Copper stocks in Shanghai shrunk by 60,000 tons in March to April and the strong inventory build observed up until the end of April in Asian London Metal Exchange warehouses appears to have ended, Commerzbank says.

ANZ Research Commodity Analyst Natalie Robertson says reports suggesting that China is planning to expand output of its nonferrous secondary scrap market by 60% from 2010 to 1.2 million tons by 2015 implies an expected improvement in underlying demand.

Goldman Sachs now says that copper prices represent a good buying opportunity after saying last month that it was closing out of its commodities basket trade, citing near-term risk-reward considerations.

Despite the bullish reports on copper in recent days, data from Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission indicates that in the week of May 17, speculator and investor net long positions in copper fell by 66 kilotons to 39.6 kilotons, the lowest since mid-2010 thanks to worries about global growth, Eurozone sovereign debt and a stronger dollar.

Copper stocks were rising in midday trading. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX - Get Report) was gaining 2.6% to $50.07, while peer Southern Copper (SCCO - Get Report) was rising 1.7% to $35.34. Copper miner Taseko Mines (TGB - Get Report) was up 1.2% to $5. Copper fabricator Encore Wire (WIRE - Get Report) was trading sideways at $22.75.

Mining equipment maker Bucyrus International (BUCY) was unchanged at $91.68, while peer Joy Global (JOYG) was up 1.2% to $87. Mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) was adding 1.8% at $103.37.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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Copyright 2011 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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CAT $69.17 5.30%
FCX $11.19 5.40%
SCCO $28.36 2.70%
TGB $0.47 4.70%
WIRE $36.18 6.20%


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