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Copper Futures Flat Ahead of Trump Infrastructure Speech

January 30, 2018 at 17:51 by Andrew Moran

Copper futures are trading sideways ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, which reports suggest will concentrate heavily on the White House’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. The red metal surged in November 2016 because Trump had promised to spend billions of dollars repairing US roads, highways, bridges, and streets, something that would require large quantities of the industrial metal.

March copper futures dipped $0.0015, or 0.06%, to $3.192 per pound at 16:36 GMT on Tuesday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. After cratering at the beginning of last week, copper prices have rebounded, trading above the important $3.20 threshold.

Year-to-date, copper has declined more than 3%.

The US dollar was firmer in the earlier part of the trading session before paring those gains. The greenback shed 0.19%, hovering just above the 89.0 mark. A weaker dollar is good for commodities like copper because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

On Tuesday, President Trump will hold his first State of the Union address. The president’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, has confirmed that Trump will focus on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. Some parts of the initiative were leaked to the press last week, and it suggests that the administration would improve the electric grid and clean water instead of investing in unsustainable projects.

Cohn told CNBC:

He [is] going to talk about a trillion and a half dollars of investment, but more importantly, he’s going to talk about streamlining the approval process on infrastructure. Right now, we have an infrastructure approval process that takes seven to 10 years to build relatively simple roads. We need to streamline that to less than two years.

Other metals are in the red on Tuesday. February gold futures tumbled $2.29, or 0.17%, to $1,342.80 per ounce. March silver futures were flat at $17.13 an ounce. April platinum futures plunged $12.30, or 1.21%, to $1,000.40 an ounce. April palladium futures crashed $30.60, or 2.82%, to $1,052.80 per ounce.

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