Copper struggles on virus resurgence

Copper prices eased back yesterday from the highest levels in more than two years as Covid-19 cases surged, threatening to curb economic activity and metals demand.

Most industrial metals prices were weaker along with crude oil and European shares, which hit two-week lows as rising virus infection rates in Europe prompted renewed lockdown measures in some countries while a lack of US stimulus also weighed on sentiment. “We’re heading into the autumn/winter season and there’s no sign of the coronavirus going away with the further spread in Europe and the US. That’s going to hit the economic data in coming weeks and months,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International in London. “Also, as we head towards the US election, we could see quite turbulent markets, and there are also geopolitical risk factors globally, so that could contribute to the risk-off sentiment as well.”

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3% to US$6 800 a tonne by 1000 GMT, after earlier climbing to its highest since June 2018 at US$6 877.50.

– Nampa/Reuters