An odd recovery means that copper and gold prices are both rising
复苏不同步导致铜价和金价都在涨

【双语】熠熠发光 Shining brightly-书迷号 shumihao.com

THERE IS, SUPPOSEDLY, a neat choreography to copper and gold prices. When one rises, the other tends to fall. In an economic downturn, for instance, gold climbs as investors seek a haven. Copper prices dip as manufacturing and construction slow. But these are unusual times, and gold and copper are moving in unusual ways. Rather than continue their customary do-si-do, they are leaping upwards together.

铜价和金价本应跳着非常整齐的双人舞。当一个上升时,另一个往往会下降。例如,在经济低迷期,投资者寻求避风港,金价随之攀升;而制造业和建筑业放缓,所以铜价下跌。但现在是非同寻常的时期,金价和铜价的变化模式也不同以往。它们不再继续传统的换位舞步,而是一起往上跳。

The price of copper surpassed $6,000 a tonne in June, up about 30% since the depths of March. Gold last month topped $1,800 an ounce, approaching a record reached in 2011. Many analysts reckon it may exceed $2,000 this year or next. As the world continues to reel from covid-19, the economic outlook is uncertain and the recovery uneven from one country to the next. For those betting on gold and copper, this has proved a winning formula.

今年6月,铜价突破了每吨6000美元,较3月的低点上涨了约30%。7月金价突破每盎司1800美元,接近2011年创下的纪录。许多分析人士认为,今年或明年金价可能会超过2000美元。新冠疫情仍在肆虐,世界经济前景尚不明朗,各国经济复苏情况也不平衡。对于那些押注黄金和铜的人来说,事实已经证明这是个制胜方案。

Gold started its recent climb from an already lofty perch. The ascent began at the end of 2018, as a trade war between America and China clouded the prospects for economic growth. Sinking interest rates in America lowered the yield on ten-year inflation-indexed Treasury bonds, making gold shine brighter. From November 2018 to late 2019 the price of the yellow metal jumped by about 25%, to $1,515.

金价近期开始攀升时的起点已然很高。金价上涨始于2018年底,当时中美贸易战给经济增长前景蒙上了阴影。美国不断下降的利率压低了10年期通胀保值国债的收益率,让黄金更显耀眼。从2018年11月到2019年底,金价上涨了约25%,达到每盎司1515美元。

Now covid-19 is propelling gold to even more vertiginous heights. Investors are scrambling for security, fearing a prolonged downturn as the virus continues to ravage giant economies such as America and Brazil. Gold-backed exchange-traded funds attracted $40bn in the first half of the year, a record. The dollar has weakened, making it cheaper for holders of other currencies to buy gold. Rates remain low. Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said in June that he was not even “thinking about thinking about” raising them. China, hit first by the virus, is recovering first, too, offering further upside. It is gold’s biggest retail market, and more shopping there would lift prices higher.

如今新冠疫情正将金价推至更令人眩晕的高位。病毒仍在美国和巴西等大型经济体肆虐,投资者们担心经济会持续低迷,都在争先恐后地寻求安全之地。今年上半年,黄金支持的交易所交易基金创纪录地吸引了400亿美元资金。美元走弱,因此其他货币的持有者购买黄金的成本变低。利率维持低位。美联储主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔(Jerome Powell)6月表示他连“想都没想过”加息。首先遭受病毒冲击的中国也首先恢复,提供了更多利好。中国是最大的黄金零售市场,中国的购买量增加会让金价更高。

Copper’s rise this year may be even more striking. Its price sank by more than a quarter from January to mid-March when covid-19 spread across China, which accounts for about half of the red metal’s consumption. Now, however, efforts to stimulate China’s economy are spurring investment. In June a tracker of sector-level demand for copper in China used by Citigroup, a bank, rose by 5.5% on the year, its biggest jump in over two years.

铜价今年的上涨可能更加引人注目。中国的铜消费量约占全球消费总量的一半,今年1月至3月中旬,也就是新冠疫情在中国蔓延期间,这种红色金属的价格下跌逾四分之一。不过,眼下中国刺激经济的举措正在推动投资。花旗银行使用的一个跟踪中国行业级铜需求的指数6月同比上涨了5.5%,是两年多来的最大涨幅。

As China invests to recover from the pandemic, though, the Americas are still grappling with it, explains Jeff Currie of Goldman Sachs, a bank. Because copper production is concentrated in South America, that has constrained supply. Some mines in Peru, shut because of the virus, are only slowly resuming production, points out Susan Bates of Morgan Stanley, another bank. In Chile, where mines have been operating with reduced staff, the deferral of needed maintenance may restrict supply in the months to come. And miners may strike, further threatening output.

高盛的杰夫·柯里(Jeff Currie)解释说,中国展开投资以求从疫情中恢复经济之时,美洲国家仍在与病毒搏斗。而铜的生产集中在南美,因此供应受限。另一家银行摩根士丹利的苏珊·贝茨(Susan Bates)指出,秘鲁的一些矿山因疫情关闭,现在还只是在缓慢地恢复生产。在智利,矿山一直在人员不足的情况下运营,必要的维护工作的延期可能会限制未来几个月的供应。而且矿工们可能会罢工,进一步威胁产量。

It is unclear how long copper prices can be sustained by investment in one place and infection in another. The metal’s traditional engine—strong global economic growth—is sputtering. Continued infections in America or a resurgence of the virus elsewhere could further depress demand for appliances, cars and other copper-dependent goods.

尚不清楚一地的投资加之另一地疫情流行能支撑铜价多久。铜价的传统推动力是强劲的全球经济增长,但现在这个引擎已经熄火。美国疫情的持续或其他地方的疫情复发可能会进一步抑制对家电、汽车和其他依赖铜的商品的需求。

That said, on July 21st European leaders agreed to new stimulus; and demand for copper may rise as countries outside China invest in electric grids and solar farms veined with the metal. Gold’s rally may be even more persistent, argues Mr Currie, supported by factors that linger through the 2020s: high debt levels that weigh on the dollar, and low interest rates. The journey skyward may not be over yet. ■

不过,欧洲领导人在7月21日同意了新的经济刺激方案;随着中国以外的国家投资大量用到铜的电网和太阳能发电厂,对铜的需求可能会上升。柯里认为金价的上涨可能会更持久,因为令美元承压的高债务水平以及低利率这两个支撑金价的因素可能贯穿整个2020年代。一飞冲天的旅程可能还未结束。