Copper Prices Hit Lowest Level in Nearly a Year

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Copper prices fell to their lowest level in nearly a year, weighed down by weak global manufacturing data and a rising dollar.

Copper for September delivery fell 0.7% to $2.9440 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest level since July 2017.

A private gauge showed growth in China’s manufacturing sector dropped in June, raising concerns over the effect of an intensifying trade conflict with the U.S. China is the world’s largest consumer of copper and many other raw materials. Manufacturing activity in the eurozone also slowed last month, data firm IHS Markit said Monday.

The weaker numbers raised concerns over demand for copper, which is used extensively in manufacturing and construction.

In precious metals, gold for August delivery fell 1% to $1,241.70 a troy ounce.

Platinum for October delivery fell 5.2% to $813.40 a troy ounce, its lowest level since 2008. September palladium fell 1.7% to $934.40 a troy ounce. Both metals are key components in automotive exhaust filters and have been hit by concerns over slowing global growth and trade tensions.

The WSJ Dollar Index was recently up 0.4% Monday and has gained 2.8% this year. A rising dollar tends to pressure metals, which are priced in the U.S. currency and become more expensive to foreign buyers when the dollar strengthens.

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