Chile quake pushes copper price to three-week high

2nd April 2014, Comments 0 comments

The vast earthquake in Chile sent copper prices jumping to a three-week peak on Wednesday, as traders worried about possible problems for supplies from the top global producer.

Analysts noted however that no damage to copper facilities had been reported.

At about 0100 GMT, copper climbed to $6,728.75 per tonne, striking the highest point since March 10.

In later deals on the London Metal Exchange, the industrial metal pulled back to stand at $6,697.75.

"Copper has hit a three-week high as an enormous earthquake off the coast of Chile as sparked fears of a tsunami," said analyst David Madden at trading firm IG.

"Traders are concerned that copper supplies will suffer following the natural disaster."

Chile is the biggest copper producer in the world and accounts for almost one-third of global supplies.

"The copper price climbed temporarily to a three-week high of over $6,700 per tonne after a severe earthquake occurred off the coast of Chile overnight, giving rise to concerns about supply outages," noted Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

"So far, however, there have been no reports of any damage, and some mining companies have already sounded the all-clear."

Copper has experienced volatile trading so far this year, diving last month on demand worries in top global consumer China.

The market had plunged in March to the lowest level for three and a half years on fears about the impact of that China's economic slowdown.

The base metal had dived on March 19 to $6,321 per tonne, which was the lowest point since July 2010.

© 2014 AFP

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