Goldman suggests buying Sept copper futures on China demand

Fri Mar 1, 2013 4:11pm EST

* Reiterates $9,000/T six-month price forecast

* Sees market moving from oversupply to balance

* Says recent selloff was overdone

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs recommended buying September copper futures on the London Metal Exchange, in a note released on Friday, on expectations of a pickup in Chinese demand over the next three to six months.

The influential U.S. bank prefers copper for 2013 among the base metals and has a six-month price forecast as high as $9,000.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was untraded at the close on Friday but last bid at $7,700 per tonne.

"Fundamentally, we see the copper market in small surplus, moving towards balance," Goldman Sachs analyst Max Layton said in the research note.

"We expect Chinese refined copper imports to pick up over the next three-six months and Chinese bonded stocks to draw, as Chinese demand picks up both seasonally and following continued growth in construction completions, property sales, and power infrastructure related demand."

After a rally in the last part of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, copper has fallen sharply in the last couple of weeks, together with other commodity and equity markets, in a broader risk-off environment.

The U.S. bank, however, thinks the selloff was overdone and now offers a good opportunity to establish a September copper long position at around $7,700, with a 17 percent potential upside to the bank's $9,000-per-tonne six-month forecast.

"For metals, fears over Chinese property tightening, concerns over broader economic tightening, and a weaker-than-anticipated PMI (purchasing managers' index) all contributed to the liquidation," Layton added in the note.

"Beyond the February Chinese economic data, we expect the Chinese economic and metal-specific data to show year-on-year growth," the note said.