Copper Price Trend May Reverse On FOMC Minutes

Copper prices have been moving alongside priced-in Fed monetary policy expectations for much of the year. That makes sense: the US-China trade war has threatened to amplify a global economic slowdown underway since early 2018, stoking bets on a dovish turn from the US central bank as well as darkening demand prospects for the cycle-sensitive commodity.

Chart of copper prices vs 2020 Fed interest rate cut expectations

Chart created with TradingView

A parallel upturn since early September appears to reflect newfound hope that Washington and Beijing are on the cusp of some sort of “phase 1” accommodation that lays the groundwork for a broader deal. Indeed, the Fed directly cited diminished trade war risk when it signaled a pause in its interest rate cut cycle following October’s meeting of the FOMC policy-setting committee.

FOMC MINUTES IN FOCUS AS COPPER PRICES EYE TREND RESISTANCE

The release of minutes from that gathering now loom large as recent gains put the benchmark HG copper contract within a hair of resistance guiding it lower since mid-2018. An upbeat tone reiterating Chair Powell and the company’s newfound optimism may cheer investors and stoke risk appetite, pushing the metal upward. A topside break confirmed on a daily close above 2.7705 initially exposes the 2.8355-8710 zone.

Alternatively, the revelation of a cautionary undertone moderating recent cheer might pressure copper lower. In fact, markets have had ample time to price in the pause in rate cuts, so even a status-quo result may be dismissed as insufficient to drive continued gains and trigger profit-taking. If that translates into a close below rising countertrend support at 2.6035, the 2.5160-5520 region beckons next.

Copper price chart - daily

Chart created with TradingView

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