Copper Extends Slide as China Hardens Trade Stance

Originally, the company produced only foundry castings at the 106 East 20th Street plant, but expanded to producing machined parts in the 1920’s. A Machine Shop building was leased until 1969 when a new Machine Shop building was built at 401 West 23rd Street.


Copper prices extended their recent slide Thursday, falling to their lowest level in almost three months ahead of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks.

Front-month copper for May delivery shed 0.1% to $2.7835 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange—its lowest close since Feb. 14 and fifth decline in the last seven sessions. Prices have trimmed much of their 2019 advance and are about 6.5% below their April 10-month peaks

 

Copper Prices have trimmed much of their 2019 advance. Photo: henry romero/Reuters

Sentiment about the U.S.-China trade fight has swung the industrial metal critical for construction and manufacturing in recent weeks because prices are sensitive to Chinese economic activity. The world’s second-largest economy accounts for about half of global copper demand.

Optimism about a U.S.-China trade agreement and Chinese stimulus measures to boost its economy had sparked copper’s rebound early in the year, but the prospect of an extended trade fight has sent prices falling in recent days.

The U.S. has pledged to increase levies on $200 billion of Chinese imports early Friday, and negotiators are set to meet later Thursday in Washington to try to prevent negotiations from collapsing.

Copper pared much of its slide alongside stocks after President Trump said at the White House it was still possible for the U.S. and China to come together on a trade deal this week.

Elsewhere among base metals Thursday, aluminum for delivery in three months inched up 0.1% to $1,799 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc fell 1.5% to $2,610, tin slipped 0.8% to $19,260, nickel declined 1.4% to $11,778 and lead dropped 2.5% to $1,835.

Among precious metals, most-active Comex gold futures inched up 0.3% to $1,285.20 a troy ounce. Silver fell 0.6% to $14.773, platinum dipped 1.5% to $851.40 and palladium slipped 1.8% to $1,283.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com


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