July 8, 2008 / 2:52 PM / 12 years ago

US copper opens lower in extension of pull-back

NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - U.S. copper futures continued to back-track from last week’s hurdle of the $4 a lb mark Tuesday morning, with further losses in the energy markets and a firm dollar influencing the red metal’s early direction.

News of an earthquake in Peru, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, failed to give the market a boost as no immediate reports of damage to operations in the region were released.

NOTE: For detailed report, click on [MET/L].

* Copper for September delivery HGU8 was trading down 7.25 cents, or 1.88 percent, at $3.7765 a lb by 10:34 a.m. EDT (1434 GMT) on the the New York Mercantile Exchange’s COMEX division.

* The morning range was from $3.77 to $3.8610.

* Copper’s pull-back from last week’s peak at $4.08 mirrors the recent retreat in the price of crude oil from last week’s surge to a record above $145 a barrel.

* By 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), COMEX estimated volumes at 6,058 lots.

* Copper fails to react to a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rattled southern Peru early on Tuesday, that startled residents in the Andean country’s second-largest city, Arequipa. [ID:nN08246265].

* Peru’s third largest copper mine, Freeport-McMoRan’s (FCX.N) Cerro Verde, was not affected by the quake.

* Copper loses fundamental support from the resolution of a week-long nationwide strike in Peru. [ID:nN06339287]

* Slower summer seasonality factors also seen keeping a cap on the red metal’s near-term price potential.

* China is expected to have shipped in 4 percent less refined copper in June than the previous month, as high world prices, weak demand and strong domestic copper production continue to cut the need for imports. [ID:nHKG353583]

* Investment bank Citi raised its copper price forecasts for the next two years, citing a larger-than-expected shortfall in supplies going ahead. Citi forecasts copper to average $5/lb in 2009, up from an earlier forecast of $3.50 a pound, and $5.50/lb in 2010 versus $3/lb in its previous forecast. [ID:nSYD113150]

* London Metal Exchange copper warehouse stocks rose by 100 tonnes to 122,175 tonnes on Tuesday.

* COMEX copper stocks declined 175 short tons to 10,079 short tons on Monday.

* The COMEX noncommercial net long position increased to 7,438 lots in the week ended July 1, compared with 6,618 lots the previous week. Open interest climbed to 111,367 contracts in the week from a prior 109,496 contracts. [ID:nN07425627]

* LME copper for delivery in three-months MCU3 last traded at $8,320 a tonne, down $92 from Monday’s close. (Reporting by Chris Kelly; Editing by John Picinich)

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