Copper Rises to Top $5,000 a Ton on Bets of More Global Stimulus

  • Imports by top consumer China surged to a record in first half
  • More spending expected in post-Brexit U.K. and sagging Japan

Copper surged to its highest since April, briefly topping $5,000 a metric ton, on expectations that policy makers’ efforts to spur economic growth will increase demand for metals.

Economists expect the Bank of England to ease policy this week after the U.K. voted to quit the European Union, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans more fiscal stimulus to charge up a stuttering economy. Top copper consumer China boosted imports in the first six months to a record amid a credit boom and property rebound.

“It’s a tale of two prime ministers: In the U.K., new entrant Theresa May is steadying the ship in the Brexit wake. In Japan re-elected PM Shinzo Abe faces the battering of tidal wave of yen appreciation,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail. “All in all this has induced fresh capital commitment.”

The metal for delivery in three months rose 1.4 percent to settle at $4,938 a metric ton ($2.24 a pound) at 5:51 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after touching $5,032 a ton, the highest since April 29. Prices climbed more than 5 percent on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

The metal’s gain in Shanghai exceeded that in London after an international tribunal said China’s efforts to assert control over the South China Sea exceeded the law. That may spur Chinese investors to buy raw materials as a hedge against geopolitical uncertainty.

In other metals news:

  • Zinc, nickel, tin and aluminum dropped on the LME, while lead gained.
  • Copper futures for September delivery increased 1.2 percent to $2.24 a pound on the Comex in New York.
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