A sharp reversal in commodity prices – hitting everything from copper, to crude oil, to wheat – is sapping investor enthusiasm for the resource sector and dismantling predictions of a supercycle that would immediately reshape the global economy.
As in many speculative booms, rising interest rates are largely to blame for the pullback. But investors are equally culpable, after they fell for age-old commodity price hype – no matter how many times they’ve already been burned.
The price of copper, often cited as a barometer of global economic health, has dropped by one-third since setting a record high near US$5 a pound in March, while the closing price of nickel is down more than 50 per cent over the same time period.
Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil, has dropped 16 per cent in little more than a month, and the price of wheat, which shot through the roof this spring, has dropped 36 per cent since mid-May.
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