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Copper Dips on Weak Global Manufacturing, Poised for Weekly Loss

June 7, 2019 at 12:16 by Andrew Moran

Copper futures dipped at the end of the trading week on international manufacturing data that suggests the global economy is slowing down. Many of the major markets have seen their manufacturing activity either slump to a multi-year low or have contracted. With Friday’s decline, the industrial metal is now headed for a weekly loss, despite a weaker greenback.

July copper futures fell $0.025, or 0.92%, to $2.62 per pound at 11:50 GMT on Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The red metal is on track for a weekly dip of 0.1%, bringing its year-to-date losses to 0.62%. But copper has witnessed its biggest plunge in the last three months, plummeting nearly 10%.

The industrial metal is trading lower based on the global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) tumbling to 49.8, its worst reading since 2012. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction. In a lot of the important markets – the US, Canada, China, Japan, and Europe – manufacturing activity has fallen, stagnated, or contracted.

The US manufacturing PMI came in at 50.5 in May, the lowest it has been since the recession. China’s manufacturing PMI slipped under 50. Canada also saw its PMI come in below 50 for the second consecutive month in May.

Even the value of global trade this year has fallen, says a new World Bank Report. The organization stated earlier this week that it has been revised down 1% to 2.6%, the weakest since the global economic collapse.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a media statement:

Stronger economic growth is essential to reducing poverty and improving living standards.

Current economic momentum remains weak, while heightened debt levels and subdued investment growth in developing economies are holding countries back from achieving their potential. It’s urgent that countries make significant structural reforms that improve the business climate and attract investment. They also need to make debt management and transparency a high priority so that new debt adds to growth and investment.

This is important because copper is an integral component for manufacturing. Should the global economy slump even more, then it would have an impact on copper.

Copper’s fluctuating performance in the last week occurred as the US dollar posted a rare weekly loss. On Friday, the greenback rose 0.04% to 97.08, but the currency recorded a 0.7% drop for the week and lowered its YTD advance to 0.95%.

It is a holiday in the world’s second-largest economy, so markets are closed. China is the planet’s biggest copper consumer.

In other metal markets, August gold futures slid $3.30, or 2.45%, to $1,339.40 per ounce. July silver futures were flat at $14.895 an ounce. July platinum futures slipped $2.50, or 0.31%, to $801.20 per ounce. July palladium futures shed $4.20, or 0.31%, to $1,344.90 an ounce.

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