Source: Thomson Reuters
Gero said the trading community is poised for this turnaround. He surveyed 32 major traders and producers at the recent International Precious Metals Institute conference, and they expected an average year-end price of $2.80 per pound.
"If the stock market keeps going up, people will not be paying attention to the metals. It will stay under the radar," he said.
In the equities market Thursday, Global X Copper Miners ETF was lower after bouncing Wednesday. Southern Copper was also weaker Thursday after rising sharply Wednesday when HSBC started coverage with a buy. The S&P materials sector was flat Thursday.
"If the stock market keeps going up, people will not be paying attention to the metals. It will stay under the radar," Gero said.
Barclays strategists also say copper has a good chance for upside in the third quarter, but they also are cautious.
Here are three risks they see:
•The biggest concern is demand in the developed world, in particular Europe. Western Europe is the second-largest market for copper—about 13 percent of demand—and it is exposed to unknown risk over a possible Greek default.
•China weakness hurting demand is another top concern, since demand is not as robust as previously forecast. Strategists see potential for a strong second half but economic weakness remains a potential risk to the demand picture.
•Supply may end up being an issue since it could be stronger than expected. Barclays expects 3.5 percent growth in refined supply, and so far this year disruptions have been low. Few disruptions mean stronger growth in supply.