Copper Falls on Continued Trade Fears

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 dropped on Tuesday as investors continued to monitor the latest developments in the monthslong trade fight between the U.S. and China.

Front-month copper for September delivery fell 0.2% to $2.6040 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after erasing most of its early losses. Prices have declined 21% from their June four-year highs as the spat between the world’s two largest economies has escalated, with traders anxious that tariffs will slow the Chinese economy and lower consumption of materials used heavily in construction and manufacturing.

China accounts for about half the world’s copper demand and is a large consumer of other industrial metals.

While the U.S. and China have laid out a path to end their trade fight ahead of planned meetings between leaders of both countries in November, some analysts remain skeptical that the two sides will quickly come to a deal. On Friday, President Trump said tariffs on another $267 billion in Chinese goods are ready to go and could be rolled out on short notice, in addition to the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods the administration has been preparing.

“Trade worries continue to consume the markets,” said Edward Meir, a consultant at INTL FCStone, in a note to clients.

Trade fears have also boosted the dollar, making commodities denominated in the U.S. currency more expensive for overseas buyers. On Tuesday, the WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, climbed 0.1%.

Gold also has been punished by the dollar’s strength and rising short-term Treasury yields. On Tuesday, front-month gold for September delivery erased early declines and closed up 0.2% at $1,195.40. Like copper, the yellow metal is near its lowest levels in more than a year.

Among other metals, most-actively traded silver futures dropped 0.2% to $14.153, platinum was down 0.1% to $789.30 and palladium fell 0.3% to $961.80.

In London, aluminum dropped 2.4% to $2,044 a metric ton. Nickel shed 1.6% to $12,215, zinc declined 2.9% to $2,311, tin was up 0.2% at $19,045 and lead slumped 3.1% to $1,965.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com and Christopher Alessi at christopher.alessi@wsj.com


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