Copper Prices Fall on Weak Manufacturing Data

Charles Beckett eventually bought out the other stockholders, including his father, and managed the company until his death in 1960. His daughter, Jo Ann Dixon, continued to manage the company until her sons, Steve and Leon Dixon, joined the company in the early 1970’s.


Updated Oct. 1, 2019

The price of copper fell Tuesday after weak manufacturing data stoked new worries about global growth.

Most-active copper futures fell more than 2% after figures from the Institute of Supply Management showed U.S. factory activity declined in September to its lowest level since June 2009, underscoring a continued slowdown in the goods-producing sector.

The industrial metal pared some of its losses later in the session, closing down 0.7% at $2.5605 a pound.

The latest U.S. data have intensified worries about a broad economic slowdown. Other major economies have also experienced a slump in manufacturing, putting further pressure on copper, which is used to build everything from office buildings to electric vehicles.

“When you have every major manufacturing hub slowing down, metals consumption will suffer as a result,” said Edward Meir, a consultant at INTL FCStone.

 

The weak manufacturing numbers come amid slowing copper demand from China. The country is importing less refined copper, Mr. Meir said, another factor weighing on prices. China is one of the world’s largest copper consumers and accounts for about half of global demand.

Elsewhere in commodities, U.S. oil futures fell Tuesday, with U.S. crude falling 0.8% to $53.62 a barrel and Brent crude, the global benchmark, slipping 0.6% to $58.89 a barrel.

Oil prices have erased all of the gains they made after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities in September, highlighting how a gloomy economic outlook is weighing on demand. Downbeat manufacturing figures and cuts to projections for consumption globally have eroded investor sentiment toward oil, offsetting much of the premium traders were initially willing to pay to account for further flare-ups in the Middle East.

In precious metals, fears that manufacturing weakness could spread to other sectors pushed investors to the safety of gold. Front-month gold futures rose 1.1% to $1,482 a troy ounce on Tuesday.

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