Copper Slips as Dollar Rises

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.


Copper prices fell Tuesday, erasing some of their Monday gains as a protracted slump continued.

Front-month copper for July delivery declined 0.4% to $2.8285 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have fallen 14% since hitting a four-year high in early June, hurt by trade threats and a stable dollar.

Some analysts worry that tariffs will slow the global economy and weaken commodity consumption, while a stronger dollar makes 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, added less than 0.1%.

Industrial metals have been hit by waves of selling in recent weeks, with investors anxiously monitoring the tit-for-tat threats of increased trade friction between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. and China slapped levies on $34 billion of each other’s exports on Friday.

“There’s been a lot of influence from the fears of trade war… rather than micro drivers, that macro driver has been the biggest underlying driver of metals’ fortunes,” said Vivienne Lloyd, senior analyst at Macquarie.

Elsewhere in the copper market, traders were still absorbing the shock waves from the liquidation of a $1 billion bet from Chinese brokerage and dominant copper buyer Gelin Dahua.

Shanghai Futures Exchange data revealed that Gelin’s net-long position of 36,050 lots last Wednesday had plunged to about 10,000 lots Monday, according to the Financial Times.

The sell order may have been poorly placed, before attracting the attention of other hedge funds who added momentum to that selling, said John Meyer, analyst at SP Angel, in a note to clients.

“We also suspect it may suit China Inc. to send a signal to the West that it can move important and significant markets when displeased by elements of U.S. foreign policy,” Mr. Meyer added.

Among precious metals, front-month gold for July delivery was down 0.3% at $1,253.80 a troy ounce. Prices hit their lowest level of the year last week and have been hurt by the dollar’s strength and worries that higher Treasury yields will limit demand as interest rates rise.

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


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