Commentary: Dr Copper’s gloomy message is being amplified by new fund friends – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – August 6, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Typical, isn’t it? Copper bulls have been waiting all year for a strike and along come three potential Chilean flashpoints in the space of a week.

The main union at the Caserones mine is threatening to walk off the job on Tuesday if government mediation fails to generate a breakthrough in deadlocked talks.

Unions at Escondida have rejected an offer on a new labour contract, raising the prospect of another walk-out after last year’s 44-day strike at what is the world’s largest single copper mine. Meanwhile, workers at Chilean state copper producer Codelco’s Chuquicamata division staged protests last week in a long-simmering dispute over restructuring plans.

None of which helped the copper price, which closed Friday down on the week and has on Monday morning slipped further towards the $6,000 per tonne technical cliff-edge.

London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal was last trading around $6,100. Doctor Copper, it seems, is far more worried about the potential hit to demand resulting from the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.

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