Copper skyrocketed on Tuesday touching 3.42 breaking its near term highs and sending investors to the bank with huge unexpected profits. Copper had been trading at 3.32 as the session opened in Asia. Just before the early close for the holidays a CME spokesman has now confirmed that an “erroneous trade” had been entered. Volume skyrocketed as automatic sell orders kicked on as the commodity rose. Copper topped out at 3.45 and closed the day and the holiday at 3.37. Copper should continue its decline back to the 3.24 range as soon as markets reopen. U.S. copper jumped 2 percent on the error. The contract gained 7 cents in about 10 seconds during the trading glitch, said, a senior metals trader at Chicago’s Integrated Brokerage Services who watched the move. “Unless you had something sitting up there, there was no ability to react,” the trader said.
The excitement in copper aside, activity was light in commodity markets across London, New York and Chicago on position squaring before the holiday season. Global markets will be closed on Wednesday for Christmas.
Gold edged higher on Christmas Eve as last minute bargain hunters emerged to take advantage of the prices below the 1200 level pushing gold to close at 1203.30. Positive economic data have generally served to undercut gold. The Federal Reserve last week said it would begin to slowly scale back the size of its monthly bond buys, and expectations for a stronger economic recovery have underlined expectations the Fed will continue to slow the flow of monetary stimulus, which is seen as a negative for gold. The precious metal had soared in the wake of the financial crisis as the Fed undertook quantitative easing and other central banks engaged in aggressive stimulus measures. Gold remained under pressure Monday after data showed U.S. consumer spending rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in November, the fastest pace since June. Personal income rose 0.2% in November. The consumption figure was in line with forecasts, while economists had penciled in a 0.4% rise in personal income.
Bears have been firmly in control of gold for much of 2013. The yellow metal soared in the aftermath of the financial crisis as the Federal Reserve and other central banks pursued quantitative easing and other extraordinary measures, sparking fears of inflation and currency debasement.
Futures markets closed an hour early and will remain shut on Wednesday for Christmas. U.S. economic data released Tuesday included durable goods orders, the U.S. house price index, new residential sales, and the Richmond Fed business survey. None of the data had a major impact on the markets. In other metal trading platinum rose $9.10, or 07%, to $1,336.50 an ounce, while palladium was down 20 cents to end at $695.45 an ounce.