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Americans and Chinese are buying houses so you should buy copper

Goldman Sachs commodities analysts think that copper could be the best bet among industrial metals in 2013, they write in a research note today.

Copper is still our preferred base metal as we head into 2013. Its high exposure to continued strength in late cycle Chinese construction completions (c.50% of Chinese consumption), together with an anticipated rebound in underperforming sectors in China (consumer appliances, manufacturing, machinery) and a pick-up in ex-Chinese consumption (US housing, general EM activity) are expected to underpin copper consumption growth through mid-late 2013.

Copper prices are typically viewed as a key barometer of global industrial activity, given how widely the metal is used in products like the pipes and wiring in new houses. Year-to-date copper prices haven’t done a whole lot—they’re up about 7%. But they’ve recently shot higher on hope that the worst of China’s slowdown may be behind us. Here’s a look.

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