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The metal that's surging off Donald Trump's win

Copper on Thursday led industrial metals, rising nearly 4 percent and hitting its highest level since last July. Some say it could go even high in a Donald Trump presidency.

This surge comes after a strong rally Wednesday, post-election, which was largely a reaction to the sliver of Trump's victory speech in which he addressed rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, according to Boris Schlossberg, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management.

Schlossberg noted trends in copper have been "predicting a global pickup in demand for the last couple of months."

George Gero on Thursday morning in a note wrote about the metal, as he is "getting calls on the outlook by Dr. Copper as infrastructure building is on the new Trump administration agenda." Gero is referring to "Dr. Copper" as lingo used frequently to describe the metal as a reliable gauge of economic growth.

Trump, in his victory speech after he was projected the winner early Wednesday, said: "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."

Schlossberg said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation" that "I think that's the excitement and the power that you're seeing in copper."

"It's a risk trade, it's an infrastructure trade, and if President-elect Trump goes through with this infrastructure proposals, you're going to see copper go even higher," he said.

Infrastructure spending has "supplanted monetary policy as the key form of stimulus," placing a demand on steel, Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, wrote in a note published Wednesday.

"Copper imports fell to their lowest level since February 2015," Chandler wrote. "The drop in copper imports seems to reflect 'import substitution' as domestic output is rising with new smelters coming online."

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, on Thursday morning noted the CRB raw industrials index rallied Wednesday for the 12th day in the past 13.

"I've been arguing for a while now not to ignore the supply cuts that have been going on for the past year," Boockvar wrote.

Arizona-based mining giants Freeport-McMoRan and Southern Copper opened 7 percent and nearly 10 percent higher, respectively, on Thursday.

And copper could be headed higher on a technical basis, according to Oppenheimer's head of technical analysis, Ari Wald, who recommends buying industrial stocks.

"I think there is indeed strength in the charts here, we're seeing it in today's breakout move, and I think it is signaling that overall economic growth is ticking higher again," Wald said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Wald says the best way to play this rally is to invest in the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF, the XLI. Wald and Oppenheimer have an overweight recommendation on the industrials sector.


Wald points out that ahead of this week's rally, it had consolidated in a "very healthy manner" back to its rising 200-day moving average, and he sees this as a buying opportunity.

"The chart really tells a great story — we've seen this in a trend since 2012. The issue in some ways, very similar in crude, is supply," Bill Baruch, chief market strategist at iiTrader, said Wednesday in an interview with CNBC, noting that China, one of the world's largest copper producers, has seen better-than-expected trade data in the last two weeks.

Customs data out this week reflected copper imports out of China dropped nearly month over month to the lowest supply since February 2015.

Baruch sees copper as overbought at these levels, though potentially heading higher under a Trump presidency, given the president-elect's infrastructure proposals.


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