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Copper Sends a Message to Markets That Growth Is Already Wrecked

  • Copper usage is contracting in China, Citigroup data shows
  • Zinc and aluminum demand also slowing sharply this year
Russia’s Number One Zinc Miner and Number Two Copper Producer Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on

For the past year, copper traded like a seesaw on the on-again, off-again hopes of a U.S. and China trade deal. Now it’s more like a rollercoaster ride down.

The focus is increasingly on the damage caused by the havoc of a trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. The broad applications for copper mean it’s particularly vulnerable to the synchronized tailspin being seen in everything from car-making and earth-moving equipment to commercial property and advanced electronic components.