Copper sinks to cheapest in over six years | Fin24
 
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Copper sinks to cheapest in over six years

Jan 11 2016 10:27
Martin Ritchie

Shanghai - Copper slumped to the lowest in more than six years amid a rout in metals as muted Chinese inflation increased concern about slowing demand and equities resumed declines in Shanghai. BHP Billiton, the largest miner, fell to a fresh decade-low in Sydney.

The metal used in cables and wires lost 2.3% to $4 381 a metric ton by 3:34 p.m. in Shanghai.

Prices declined 4.7% last week amid swings in China’s financial markets and on fears the country’s slowdown will hurt demand. Data at the weekend showed inflation in December stayed at about half of the government’s 2015 target, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index of stocks dropped 5.3% on Monday.

“It’s more of a knee-jerk reaction to the concerns that China is obviously slowing, and concerns about the stock market,” Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer of Ayers Alliance Securities, said by phone from Sydney.

“All of those things have created an uncertain feeling of what we’re seeing out of China. We’re of the opinion that the lower prices go, the stronger they will bounce back.”

Metals have lost most of the modest gains they made toward the end of last year, with the LME Index of six contracts down 4.3% last week, the most since May. Bloomberg’s World Mining Index of 80 equities extended its decline to the lowest since 2004 on Monday. BHP shares fell 4.9% to A$15.55, the cheapest close since 2005, while Rio Tinto Group lost 3.3%.

Nickel dropped as such as 3.6% to $8 255 a ton. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper fell 2.6% to the lowest close in a month, adding to a 2.7% decline last week.

copper  |  commodities  |  markets
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