As for almost every other metal, the copper price bounced on Monday after the US and China announced a trade truce, up 2 per cent to $6,352 a tonne. As with nickel and zinc, the copper market has been unnerved by fears that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing would further strain a Chinese economy already showing signs of slowing. Copper has closely tracked the renminbi since June. But a fragile truce between the US and China is not what is really animating the copper bulls. Instead, it is the prospect that a shift to cleaner forms of energy creates new demand for the metal, which is used in electric car batteries and wind turbines. At the same time, there are few large mines coming into production. Anglo American, the miner, estimates that by 2030 there will be the need for an additional 5.6m tonnes of production capacity to satisfy the extra appetite. Those who are bullish point to falling copper inventories: stocks at the London Metal Exchange are down 45 per cent since May. Inventories of copper would only satisfy about 12 days of demand, according to Glencore. Financial Times

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