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Copper Borrowing Fee Rises as Investors Close Out Bets on Drop

The fee paid to borrow copper for next-day delivery on the London Metal Exchange rose to the highest level since Jan. 6 as investors closed out bets on falling prices before tomorrow.

The so-called tom-next spread climbed as high as a premium of $1 a metric ton today, compared with discounts of $1 yesterday and $5 on Jan. 12, figures from the exchange show. A higher fee usually signals tighter supply. LME rules oblige holders of contracts to advise sellers by each month’s third Wednesday how they wish to settle the positions.

“This is small, residual technical tightness before the third Wednesday prompt date,” said Andrew Silver, a London-based trader at Natixis Commodity Market Ltd.

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