Comex copper surges after Chilean earthquake

Comex copper prices surged to a three-week high Thursday October 5 morning in the US, after a Chilean earthquake spurred a major round of buying.

Copper for December settlement on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 6.70 cents or 2.3% to $3.0260 per lb. Earlier today, the contract hit $3.0295, its highest since September 13.

Base metals have experienced little price fluctuation throughout the week with Chinese market participants sidelined due to an extended holiday session.

“The news of the earthquake [in Chile] has filtered through to the market and is boosting the price, it’s in the area of the northern mining regions and it will be interesting to see if anything is disrupted,” one market participant said.

In the precious metals space, Comex gold for December delivery moved up 80 cents or 0.1% to $1,277.60 per oz.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index halted its decline after the release of strong US economic data on Wednesday; it was most recently up 0.28% to 93.74.
  • In other commodities, the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was up 0.24% to $50.10 per barrel.
  • The ADP non-farm employment change in September came in at 135,000, just above an expected reading of 131,000, while the ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for September stood at 59.8, higher than the forecast of 55.5.
  • “The [ISM manufacturing] index is now at its highest since August 2005 and is a sign that the US economy is recovering quickly from hurricane-related disruptions,” National Australia Bank said on Thursday.
  • In today’s data, weekly unemployment claims came in at 260,000, just below the forecast of 270,000. Challenger job cuts year-over-year in September stood at -27.
  • In addition, US Federal Open Market Committee members Jerome Powell and Patrick Harker are due to speak later.