Copper Edges Lower as Investors Await Trade Update

Beckett Bronze produces cast bronze precision-machined parts and continuous cast bars. Castings are manufactured at the East 20th Street plant. The West 23rd Street plant produces finished machined parts and has about 75 machine tools including CNC lathes.


Copper prices edged lower on Monday as investors awaited an end-of-week meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the latest update on global trade policies.

Front-month copper for November delivery closed down 0.4% at $2.7585 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have fallen 16% from their June four-year highs on worries that a slowdown in global growth will lower demand for materials used widely in construction and manufacturing.

However, the industrial metal has traded sideways in recent weeks with investors awaiting updates on U.S.-China trade tensions and Chinese economic growth. China is the world’s largest commodity consumer, accounting for about half of global copper demand, so some expect the market to remain muted until analysts receive further economic signals.

“In my view this price range is quite fair,” said Carsten Menke, commodities analyst at Julius Baer. “It seems like demand is sufficient to keep it in this range for the time being.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi are scheduled to meet at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of the week.

Analysts are also keeping an eye on moves in the dollar, as a stronger dollar has made metals more expensive for overseas buyers throughout the year. On Monday, the WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, pared its early drop and was recently up 0.1%.

On the London Metal Exchange, aluminum for delivery in three months added 0.1% to $1,951.50 a metric ton. Zinc dropped 1.3% to $2,487; tin was up 0.5% at $18,900; nickel shed 0.4% to $10,875; and lead fell 1.3% to $1,943.

Among precious metals, front-month gold for November delivery edged down less than 0.1% to $1,220.20 a troy ounce. Most-active silver futures were down 0.3% at $14.205; platinum was up 0.3% at $847.80; and palladium rose 0.9% to $1,124.70.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@dowjones.com and Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com


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