MTECHTIPS:-Copper tumbles to 6-year low amid China stock market melt-down
Copper prices plunged to the lowest level in six years on Monday, as steep declines on Chinese stock markets dampened appetite for the red metal. Copper for September delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange hit an intraday low of $2.355 a pound, a level not seen since June 2009, before trading at $2.361 during European morning hours, down 2.1 cents, or 0.89%. The Shanghai Composite tumbled more than 8% on Monday, the biggest one-day drop since February 2007, on weak industrial profits and amid reports that government buying of stocks and securities has slowed. Equity markets in China plunged sharply earlier this month, forcing policymakers to intervene and provide measures to boost liquidity and calm investors. Copper prices lost 11.5 cents, or 4.57%, last week, the fourth consecutive weekly fall, as concerns over the health of China’s economy weighed. Data on Friday showed that manufacturing activity in China slowed to a 15-month low in July. The preliminary reading of the Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.2 from a final reading of 49.4 in June. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. Elsewhere, gold futures for December delivery climbed $18.20, or 1.68%, to trade at $1,104.20 a troy ounce, while silver futures for September delivery jumped 17.7 cents, or 1.22% to trade at $14.66 an ounce.