The price of copper has started to rise after the official Chinese PMI of 52.6 in February moved above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction, which marks the highest reading since April 2012, when it hit 53.5.
February’s PMI reading is also higher than the 50.1 reported for January and above expectations of 50.5, which is no doubt the result of COVID-19 restrictions finally being lifted in China.
Chinese Non-manufacturing PMI also grew further to 56.3 from January’s print of 54.4, when it saw a sharp improvement backed by a recovery in services and construction activity.
The country of China is where 52% of the world’s copper goes. A harsh recession there would badly hurt demand and could balance the market, though much of that consumption is for the re-export of products. Today’s PMI data is great for copper.
Sentiment towards copper has been a big catalyst for copper prices. Sentiment towards copper is now extremely bearish, with retail appearing to be caught on the right side of the trade recently, we need to be careful of a sudden bounce in copper after the recent Chinese data.
According to the ActivTrader platform, some 89 percent of traders are bearish. With the current sentiment bias towards copper, I believe more short-term upside in the red metal seems the most likely scenario.
Copper Short-term Technical Analysis
The four-hour time frame shows that copper only short-term bullish bias if it breaks above key former range high, around the $415.00 level.
It is also noteworthy that a bearish Momentum divergence has recently been reversed above the drop under $400.00. The invalidation of the momentum divergence could be very encouraging for bulls in the short-term.
Copper Medium-term Technical Analysis
The larger picture for copper prices remains bearish because the red-metal is now testing back towards the top of large broadening ascending price channel.
At the moment the price of copper is testing mid-range of the pattern, with these patterns previously being known as bearish style reversal patterns due to the rising shape.
I would suggest keeping a close eye on the $420.00 level for further breakout towards the $440.00 area or a rejection back towards the $375.00 level.