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Copper: Time to Take Profits in the Red Metal

|Includes: BDD, BDG, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX)

Those who followed my recommendation to buy copper on January 5 are the happy participants in the first bubble of the year. The red metal has rocketed from $1.28 to $2.26, while producer Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX) soared 88% from $25 to $47. Heavy and secretive stockpiling of the red metal by China, which accounted for a third of the world’s 18 million tons of consumption last year, has been a main driver. Heavy buying by commodities based ETF’s provided the turbocharger. It is time to take some money off the table. Asset markets everywhere have suddenly gotten way too healthy, with global equity markets alone tacking on $7 trillion in value in six weeks. No one ever got fired for taking a profit, especially in this angst ridden environment. Of course, longer term I expect copper to rise past its all time high of $4.10, and for FCX to vault above its old high of $122, as we make the irresistible shift from a paper to a hard asset backed world.  But it’s going to take more than a short covering rally in financial markets to get back up there. Better to buy it back lower.