Shares in copper miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 0.32%) were up by around 7% as of 10 a.m. ET today. The move comes after some softer-than-expected inflation data soothed the market's fears over the severity of interest rate hikes needed to cool inflation. This could immediately be seen in the decline in the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate to around 3.8% from about 4.1% at the start of the day. Lower interest rates usually mean higher growth.
The move helps to highlight one of the three big and interconnected drivers of global copper demand and, in turn, Freeport-McMoRan's earnings. For reference, at the time of writing, the price of copper was up to $3.81 per pound compared to $3.43 at the start of November.
The three factors driving marginal demand for copper are electrification in the economy (including demand for copper wiring in electric vehicles, charging networks, storage, renewable energy, smart buildings, etc.), demand coming from China's industrialization, and overall demand coming from cyclical growth in the economy.
Almost a week ago, the copper miner's stock surged on better news about growth in China, and now it's the U.S.'s turn to deliver some good news for the global economy -- spurring optimism that global growth will improve.
One piece of inflation data doesn't make a summer, so investors should keep a close eye on developments. Still, any improvement to the global growth outlook will be good news for an industrial metal widely used across the economy, particularly in the clean energy transition. Today's move highlights that fact.