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Copper futures inch up as Eurogroup meets on Greece

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Shutterstock photo - - Copper prices edged higher on Wednesday, as Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is due to meet with other finance ministers of the euro zone later in the day to discuss a solution to Greece's bailout program.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for March delivery tacked on 1.3 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $2.565 a pound during European morning hours.

Prices held in a range between $2.540 and $2.571 a pound. On Tuesday, copper for March delivery lost 2.9 cents, or 1.12%, to end at $2.551 a pound.

Futures were likely to find support at the $2.525, the low from February 10, and resistance at $2.615, the high from February 6.

Athens is expected to ask for a bridge loan to cover its funding needs until September, and to also propose new economic reforms to replace some of the harshest austerity conditions attached to its bailout at a meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels later Wednesday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he will deliver on pre-election pledges to roll back austerity measures and reject an international bailout extension, fuelling fears over Greece's future in the euro zone.

Market sentiment strengthened on Tuesday following reports that the European Commission would propose a six-month extension to Greece's existing bailout program.

However, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Scheuble later reiterated that there would be no negotiating of a new program.

Copper remained supported amid speculation of further monetary easing from the People's Bank of China following Tuesday's lower-than-expected inflation data, which weakened to the lowest level since November 2009.

Market players digested news of a reshuffle at China's central bank. According to media reports, two of the four deputy governors at the PBoC will be replaced in the coming months.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold futures for April inched up $4.90, or 0.4%, to trade at $1,237.10 a troy ounce, while silver futures for March delivery rose 16.0 cents, or 0.95% to trade at $17.03 an ounce.

Ongoing expectations for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates by mid-2015 capped gains.

Gold has been under pressure in recent sessions amid the growing possibility of an earlier Fed rate hike, following last week's robust U.S. jobs report, which saw market players bring forward expectations for the first rate increase to June.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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