Copper at the crossroads

AFTER a gentle start to 2018, copper could be in for a rocky few weeks.

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Barclays analyst Dane Davis said Chinese data arriving in mid-March would set the tone for copper's price for the month as the market waits on demand indications from the world's biggest consumer of the red metal.

"We believe the copper market is at a crossroads, with the next four to six weeks holding particular significance," he said.

"With China broadly maintaining macro momentum into the New Year, there is an open question whether that will be maintained with resumption of industrial activity in March and early April.

"Supply and the ongoing pace of labour contract renewals [in Chile and Peru] are also under scrutiny … for the industry as a whole, labour harmony brings higher supply, a return to mined production growth, and, thus, the potenti...