Metals Poisoned by Turkey Contagion as Copper Nears Bear Market – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2018)

From Turkey’s financial crisis to China’s trade war, the emerging-market contagion is infecting metal markets.

Base metal markets tumbled on Wednesday, with most contracts falling more than 2 percent in London. Copper sank below $6,000 a metric ton and is now approaching a bear market. Not even gold, the usual safe haven, was spared from the selloff. Bullion prices sank 0.7 percent to $1,186 an ounce. Natural resource shares were also in the red.

“It’s going to be difficult to shake this bearish sentiment,” Nicholas Snowdon, a metals analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said by phone from London. “When you look at the broad selloff across metals, the key drivers are clearly macro factors.”

There’s a growing fear that problems in China and Turkey will lead to weaker global economic growth, and consequently hurt demand for raw materials. Losses on Wednesday were triggered by a broad retreat in China as the yuan weakened and recent data showed the economy hit a rough patch.

In copper, prices were also hit by speculation that the wage talks at the world’s biggest copper mine will end without a strike.

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