Copper rises on stimulus hopes

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    LONDON- Copper prices gained as investors were cheered by buoyant US economic data and hoped that planned spending on infrastructure would boost metals demand.

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.8 percent to $9,126 a ton, erasing earlier losses.

    The contract has surged 47 percent since the beginning of 2020, hitting a 9-1/2-year high of $9,617 a ton in February.

    Data on Friday showed US producer prices increased strongly in February, while consumer confidence in the economy rose to a one-year high.

    And following the passage of sweeping US pandemic relief this week, the administration will next turn to legislation on massive infrastructure investments.

    “The stimulus has been cooked into the books already but the next phase is looking for (US President Joe) Biden’s infrastructure plans, and when we get some momentum, that’s another bullish catalyst for the industrial metals,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

    “The bullish narrative has not gone away.” Prices slipped earlier as Chinese anti-pollution measures fuelled worries about reduced demand, while a further rise in bond yields spurred renewed risk-off sentiment.