copper price driven higher

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    NY copper driven higher by fund buying
    Thu June 5, 2003 11:12 AM ET
    NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - COMEX copper prices rose Thursday morning on fund buying, following the lead of London where buyers emerged after the day-earlier selling, brokers said.
    "We had good fund buying earlier this morning. That pushed us up and sparked some short-covering by the locals. But now they're following London back down off the highs. There really hasn't been a lot of action," said a floor broker.

    Some COMEX brokers said the buying was mostly technical with some funds covering shorts and others taking out new long positions when copper maintained its higher levels.

    Benchmark July copper 0#HG: on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division gained 0.55 cent to 78.60 cents a lb. The range ran from 77.70 to 78.80 cents. Spot June rose 0.50 cent to 78.30 cents. Most term contracts were unchanged or 0.40 to 0.65 higher.

    Thursday 1000 EDT COMEX copper volume was estimated at 3,000 lots.

    Copper prices eased off their highs following release of U.S. factory orders will fell in April at the fastest rate since November 2001. The inventory to shipments ratio also rose in April and the durable goods orders revision improved by 0.1 percent though was still a gloomy 2.3 percent decrease.

    Also, the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits jumped in the latest week, also spooking stock market investors who were hoping for signs of economic upturn.

    A positive for copper was the widely expected European Central Bank interest rate cut on Thursday. Because of its implications for improved growth in Europe, the euro advanced on the news. A weaker dollar improves the value of dollar-denominated metals prices for European buyers.

    London copper prices firmed on trade and speculative buying, but dealers said the gains were wobbly given negative technical signals and sketchy fundamentals at best.

    LME 3-months copper MCU3 rose to $1,726 a tonne from the Wednesday evening kerb close at $1,715. The range spanned $1,710 to $1,729.
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