Base Metals Drop as Trade War Angst Spurs Concern About Demand (Bloomberg News – September 17, 2018)

Industrial metals fell for a second day on concern that the escalating U.S.-China trade war will hurt prospects for demand in the biggest users.

The Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex, which tracks aluminum, copper, nickel and zinc, slipped 0.8 percent as the market braced for a new round of U.S. tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products that’s seen spurring retaliation from Beijing.

Aluminum’s losses also came as the U.S. Treasury softened the impact of sanctions on Russian supplier United Co. Rusal. Metals have been under pressure for months as the U.S.-led trade war fans concern that the showdown will derail otherwise-strong economic growth in the world’s two largest economies.

The dollar has rallied this year, putting additional pressure on buyers in China by making it more expensive to import industrial commodities.

“We can see no winners in this conflict, and believe that global trade and the global economy will suffer mainly as a result,” Commerzbank AG analysts including Daniel Briesemann said in a note, referring to the new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

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