Copper jumps to new 2011 highs on inflation fears

February 25, 2021

LONDON (Feb 25) - Copper hit new peaks on Thursday, close to its highest in a decade, as investors scrambled to buy metals as a hedge against potential inflation from ongoing central bank stimulus.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 2.2% at $9,513.50 a tonne by 1140 GMT, after hitting its highest since August 2011 at $9,617.

Copper is about 6% below its record high of $10,190 a tonne hit in February 2011.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday it may take more than three years to reach the central bank’s inflation goals, a sign the central bank plans to leave interest rates unchanged for a while. “In my view, what Powell said worried some investors, who believe that the central bank is underestimating inflation pressures as they continue to inject liquidity in the market,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

“Metals and other commodities have become a sort of safe haven in case inflation pressure gets out of control. And at the same time, supply issues are still very much present in the market.”

In China, the most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 4.5% to 70,740 yuan ($10,964.04) a tonne, a level unseen since March 2011

* LME aluminium gained 1.7% to $2,221.50 a tonne after touching $2,243, its highest since October 2018

“China will struggle to produce enough aluminium in a carbon-free world and tin is well benefiting with massive demand and difficulties in the supply chain,” said commodities broker Anna Stablum at Marex Spectron in Singapore.

* LME tin rose 2% to $27,225 a tonne, nickel dipped 0.4% to $19,640, zinc advanced 1.7% to $2,894 while lead rose 1.3% to $2,152.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.4520 yuan)


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