NEW YORK The delay in launching physical copper exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has played a part in hindering the metals advance, president Henry Weingarten of AFund Inc. says.
Weingartens company, which is active in gold, silver and copper, had expected JPMorgan Chase & Co. and BlackRock Inc.s respective ETFs to have been trading by now.
"Wed expected the physical copper ETFs to be a main driver (of prices), but theres still no trading," he said at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Explorations mining finance conference in New York. "Well stay long copper until two weeks after the ETFs are up and running and then well get out."
The two ETFs have received approval from U.S. regulators, but those decisions are being challenged in the Washington Court of Appeals by major copper consumer Southwire Co., Carrollton, Ga.
Coppers biggest stumbling block to higher prices is the fact that the world economy isnt performing as strongly as had been expected, according to Weingarten.
Copper prices are often viewed as a proxy for economic growth due to the metals use in housing and construction.
"Well start to see an improvement (in the global economy) in the second half of 2015," he said. "Were not bearish for copper, but were not bullish, either."
The strength of the U.S. dollar is overall negative for the metals complex, Weingarten said.
"The yen is not an alternativethe dollar is showing relative strength against other currencies because its the best of a bad lot," he added.