Copper Slips Further on Concerns About Demand

Beckett Bronze Company was incorporated May 21, 1913 as the Delaware Brass and Aluminum Company by a group of stockholders which included John Beckett, a molder, and his son, Charles.

Copper prices fell for the fourth consecutive session Tuesday as fresh worries about the global economy hit commodities across the board.

Front-month copper for December delivery slumped 3% to $2.6710 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange—its worst day since Aug. 15 and its lowest close since Oct. 31. Prices are down 19% from their June four-year highs and on track for a fourth consecutive quarterly decline, hurt by fears that a global economic slowdown will lower demand for materials used heavily in manufacturing and construction.

Weak economic figures from China, in particular, have hurt industrial metals such as copper lately, as the country is the world’s largest commodity consumer and accounts for about half of global copper demand. The continuing U.S.-China trade fight has also stoked demand worries, analysts say.

Copper prices, which are down about 18% from their June four-year highs, have been hurt by concerns about global growth.

Copper prices, which are down about 18% from their June four-year highs, have been hurt by concerns about global growth. Photo: ruben sprich/Reuters

Stocks around the world and other commodities including oil have slid lately, a sign to some investors that concerns about the global economy are growing more pronounced late in the year.

Analysts were looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s latest interest-rate decision, expected Wednesday afternoon following the central bank’s two-day meeting, for the next event that could impact sentiment about economic growth.

Elsewhere in base metals, aluminum for delivery in three months fell 0.8% to $1,926.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc dropped 0.7% to $2,520, tin slipped 0.7% to $19,210, nickel was down 1.4% at $10,835 and lead rose 2.2% to $1,973.

Among precious metals, front-month gold for December delivery inched up 0.1% to $1,249.20 a troy ounce, finishing again at its highest level since July thanks to a weaker dollar that makes the metal cheaper for overseas buyers. Most-active silver futures fell 0.4% to $14.701 a troy ounce, platinum was down 0.1% at $794.80 and palladium inched down 0.2% to $1,179.20.

Write to Christopher Alessi at and Amrith Ramkumar at

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