Commodities

Copper drops over 1% on US-China trade war pressure

Reuters October 16 | Updated on October 16, 2018 Published on October 16, 2018

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.2 per cent at $6,223 tonne, as of 0349 GMT.   -  Bloomberg

London copper prices slid more than 1 per cent on Tuesday as the market faced its biggest one-day loss in more than a week with pressure from a trade war between the United States and the world's top industrial metals consumer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.2 per cent at $6,223 tonne, as of 0349 GMT. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.9 per cent to 50,350 yuan ($7,272.23) a tonne.

Inflation, growth

China's factory-gate inflation cooled for a third straight month in September amid ebbing domestic demand, pointing to more pressure on the world's second-biggest economy as it remains locked in an intensifying trade war with the United States. Growth in China's factory sector in September stalled after 15 months of expansion, with export orders falling the most in more than two years, a private business survey showed.

“Copper has dropped today on worries over trade war between the United States and China,” said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong. “There are concerns on slowing manufacturing growth in China.”

Imports surge to 2-1/2 year high

China's unwrought copper imports surged to their highest in 2-1/2 years in September, while copper concentrate imports climbed to an all-time high as the world's top copper consumer's crackdown on scrap leaves it needing other forms of the metal.

Yangshan copper import premiums have been hovering near $120 since late-September, levels last seen in 2015, which indicate strong demand. The world's biggest miner BHP on Tuesday nearly doubled its stake in SolGold Plc, bolstering its position against top shareholder Newcrest Mining as it eyes SolGold's promising Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.

Published on October 16, 2018
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