Copper prices: Copper stumbles to 17-month low as inflation data fans ease fears

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LONDON — Copper prices fell to their lowest level in 17 months on Friday, as inflation and factory data bolstered fears that central bank tightening could push economies into recession and hurt the economy. demand for metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.6% at $8,047 a tonne as of 1630 GMT after hitting its lowest level since early February 2021 at $7,955.

“Recession fears are the dominant factor right now, taking its toll right, left and center. Any time there’s an indication of more hawkish policy, markets fall further,” he said. Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at WisdomTree.

Eurozone inflation hit a new record high in June, data released on Friday showed, which Shah said “looks at an alarming level, giving the ECB more firepower.”

Even some bullish news from China, a major consumer of metals, failed to lift sentiment. China’s manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in 13 months in June, supported by a strong rebound in output.

But US manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in June to a two-year low, while the picture was also grim in the euro zone.

“Trying to bring China back to full speed when the rest of the world seems to want to slow down is going to be difficult,” Shah added.

LME copper was on course for a fourth straight weekly decline, after posting its worst quarter since 2011 in the three months to June, down 20.4%. It was down 4% for the week.

Other industrial metals also fell, with zinc falling 9% this week and aluminum heading for its sixth straight weekly decline.

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