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Copper Hits Two-Year Low as Signs of Global Slowdown Stack Up

  • U.S. factory activity shrank in August, dimming demand view
  • LME copper, lead, and zinc fell at least 1% earlier on Tuesday
Russia’s Number One Zinc Miner and Number Two Copper Producer Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on

Copper fell to the lowest since 2017 as investors faced fresh evidence of a global slowdown and fading prospects for a deescalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

Long known as a canary in a coal mine for the economy, copper has slid 14% from this year’s high in mid-April on the back of a manufacturing slump and warnings that major economies are heading into recession. Prices fell 0.2% to settle at $5,610 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. A gauge of copper-producer shares headed for the biggest loss in more than two weeks.