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Trump Started the Metals Rally, Now He's the Reason It's Ending

  • Copper slumps to lowest in almost a year as tariffs broadened
  • Strong spell of manufacturing growth at risk as trade cools
Copper Smelting At RTB Bor Group Plant
Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg
Updated on

The U.S. election of Donald Trump lit a fire under metals markets in 2016 as investors took a liking to his pro-business agenda. Now, copper and other metals are tanking as Trump’s trade war against China threatens to derail economic growth.

Copper sunk to an almost one-year low and has fallen 16 percent from a high in June. All the major metals were in the red on Wednesday as the U.S. unveiled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made products. Mining stocks also took a hit, with Glencore Plc and Kaz Minerals Plc falling more than 4 percent. Even gold, considered a haven asset, fell as trade angst boosted the dollar, making commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.