Copper prices fell to new lows on Friday after worse-than-expected economic data in China, the top metals consumer, sharpened fears of weak demand for industrial metals.
As reported by the Reuters agency, copper prices on the London Metal Exchange, which were headed for the worst weekly loss since March 2020, were also affected by concerns that aggressive interest rate hikes could trigger a global recession.
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The three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange slipped below the $7,000 mark for the first time since November 2020, before paring losses to $7,020 a tonne by 1030 GMT (05 :30 on Friday in Peru), a drop of 2.1%. In weekly terms, copper fell 10%.
“There is hardly any positive news these days in many regions of the world and when people turn bearish, the selling is usually sharper than on the upside. So I think we could continue to go lower,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity markets strategy at Bank of China International.
The data showed China’s economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter to just 0.4% from a year earlier, the worst performance for the world’s second-largest economy since data series began in 1992.
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“The real estate market in China remains a concern and it is not clear how the situation will evolve in the coming months. The lack of recovery could keep the mood bearish,” Fu added.
Nickel on the London Metal Exchange hit a nine-month low of $18,230 a tonne and was down 2.4% at $18,945. Aluminum in London was up 0.3% at $2,342.50 a tonne and lead was up 3.3% at $1,894.50, but zinc was down 0.4% at $2,864 and tin it fell 1.5% to $23,965.
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