Copper Hits Record


"Copper futures hit third consecutive record on first trading day of 2011."

Copper futures set their third consecutive record settlement, locking in a gain on the first trading day of 2011 on upbeat U.S. economic data.

The thinly traded contract for January delivery settled up 0.3%, at $4.4515 a pound Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The most actively traded contact, for March delivery, settled up 0.2%, at $4.4575 a pound, the third consecutive record settlement for the contract. The contract also set an intraday record at $4.4980.

Copper prices maintained a steady upward march throughout the second half of 2010 as demand for the metal improved amid a robust global economic recovery. Meanwhile, copper supply remains constrained as new projects around the world fail to replace dwindling deposits in Chile, the world's largest producer.

Copper's rise was supported by a rally in resource prices, with everything from cotton, cocoa, crude oil, silver to palladium hitting multiyear records in recent months.

"Traders don't want to be short anything commodities-related right now, commodities are coming into 2011 with some strong wind at their backs," said Lind-Waldock Senior Market Strategist Bob Haberkorn.

Copper futures resumed their record-breaking rally on reports showing the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to recover. Copper is used in the manufacturing sector for electrical wiring, tubing, heating and cooling applications.

The Institute of Supply Management said its December index of manufacturing activity rose to 57 from 56.6 in November and 56.9 in October. Economists expected the index to rise to 57.1. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

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