News & Analysis

A copper's lot is a happy one

Andrew Saks, Thursday, 20 May 2021

There was once a phrase which was used in cynicism to describe the arduous work undertaken by British police officers during writings of poet WS Gilbert over 150 years ago.

These days, it could be said that copper's lot is a happy one, however it is a different type of copper that is basking in glory.

The metallic kind.

As can be observed even by members of the public whose interest in capital markets is as low as that of a halibut's wish to travel into space, objects made of metal are disappearing at the hands of the nefarious.

A recent personal experience, along with discussions with some insurance companies and law enforcement professionals (the human type of copper!) have concluded that motorcycle and bicycle theft is absolutely rife across the United Kingdom at the moment and has been since the beginning of 2021.

Additionally, holes in metal structures are beginning to appear, as panels suddenly grow legs and walk away during the night.

A crime wave which involves the theft of metal objects means that the raw materials which make up that object are now in demand.

Copper, which is used in almost every engineering application from construction to precision engineering and from electric cabling to watch making, is one of the earliest commodities to be listed on raw materials exchanges globally and is becoming increasingly popular these days on OTC derivatives platforms.

Speaking to a number of analysts this week, it has been a clear point of interest. One particular North American market commentator explained "Copper is very popular at the moment from an observational point of view and a number of investors are watching its chart pattern. It is third only to the current interest in cryptocurrency and some of the tech stocks."

In some markets, notably those of central Europe and parts of Eastern Europe, an analytical interest in precious metals including copper, platinum and titanium has been increasing significantly.

Indeed, copper prices on NASDAQ have risen from $4.221 per pound (LB) to $4.7255 per LB two days ago, settling at $4.57 per LB today.

This represents the highest point for five years and demonstrates that NASDAQ is not just a venue for the public listing of the stock of ultra-modern technology companies but is a place for good old analog heavy metal too.

Whilst this is interesting to investors and has resulted in a resurgence of commentary around metals as tradeable commodities, if you're a plumber, you may wish to invest in a safety cage for your pipes. Just make sure that the cage isn't made of copper too!

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