Gold Recovers as Copper Touches Record High


"Copper for March delivery rose as high as $4.29/lb."

Gold, copper and other metals advanced on Monday, with copper futures reaching an intraday record in holiday-thinned trading in Asia and Europe.

Copper for March delivery rose as high as $4.2985 a pound earlier, topping the intraday record, a spokeswoman for futures exchange operator CME Group said. It recently traded at $4.285 a pound on the Comex division of the CME-owned New York Mercantile Exchange.

Last Tuesday, copper notched a record closing high of $4.276 a pound, as the benchmark contract ended the week 2.4% higher.

"Give me a close above $4.30, and we're going to $4.50 real quick," said Rich Ilczyszyn, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago.

Copper prices on Monday rose despite the People's Bank of China increase on Saturday of its main one-year lending and deposit rates, both by a quarter of a percentage point. Read about China's rate hike.

"Normally you would say that if copper is a growth story, that as China puts on the brakes, that should stem the tide of some of the consumption. But I think the market is throwing it right back in the face of China and the market has spoken," Ilczyszyn said.

The prospect for equities is playing a role in the market, he said, as equities “are less about the dollar than about the growth story. If you believe that equities are going to have a good year in 2011, you're going to be buying commodities across the board.”

Possible opportunities in the metals market include palladium, which appeared unvalued and “hasn't made that big move yet,” he said.

March palladium recently rose $8.40, or 1.1%, to $766.50 an ounce.

January platinum also gained, rising $14.10, or 0.8%, to stand at $1,737.20/oz.

However, silver for March delivery extended an earlier decline, slipping $0.06, or 0.2%, to $29.27/oz.

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