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Copper tumbles to near 20-month low as recession fears grip market

Copper prices sunk to their lowest in almost 20 months as persistent worries that a recession would dampen metals demand hit a market with thin summer volumes.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dropped as much as 4.9% to $7,291.50 a tonne, the lowest since November 25, 2020, before paring losses to $7,560 by 0905 GMT, a decline of 1.4%.

“That dollar strength yesterday was the trigger that came on top of the recent recession fears, pulling the rug from under the market,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

“The weakness overnight looks like it was driven by China and the COVID problems they’re still facing. And this is the time of year where the market can easily get caught on the wrong side when liquidity is drying up.”

China is fighting COVID-19 flare-ups on multiple fronts across the country including an emerging cluster in Shanghai, spurring mass testing drives and fresh restrictions.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai ended daytime trading down 5.4% to 57,620 yuan ($8,595.38) a tonne.

The dollar stood tall near a 20-year peak against the euro, making metals priced in the U.S. currency more expensive for other currency holders.
Source: Reuters

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