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Copper Falls on Disappointing Chinese Data, Trade Uncertainty

Summary:
Copper futures are sliding on Tuesday, driven by disappointing data from the world’s second-largest economy and uncertainty over US-China trade negotiations. Despite topping .70 over the weekend, it has pared those gains and is now trading just above the .60 mark. Are metal investors losing hope in Washington and Beijing reaching a trade deal before the year is over? November copper futures tumbled %excerpt%.015, or 0.54%, to .6265 per pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Copper prices are up about 2% so far this month, but they have slipped into negative territory by 0.5% year-to-date. Markets have been bearish on the industrial metal over the last two sessions. In China, value-added industrial production rose 4.4% in August, the smallest gain in output since

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Copper futures are sliding on Tuesday, driven by disappointing data from the world’s second-largest economy and uncertainty over US-China trade negotiations. Despite topping $2.70 over the weekend, it has pared those gains and is now trading just above the $2.60 mark. Are metal investors losing hope in Washington and Beijing reaching a trade deal before the year is over?

November copper futures tumbled $0.015, or 0.54%, to $2.6265 per pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Copper prices are up about 2% so far this month, but they have slipped into negative territory by 0.5% year-to-date.

Markets have been bearish on the industrial metal over the last two sessions.

In China, value-added industrial production rose 4.4% in August, the smallest gain in output since February and below the market forecast of 5.2%. Retail sales jumped 7.5% year-on-year last month, short of the median estimate of 7.9%. Fixed-asset investment in the January-to-August period climbed 5.5%, just short of the 5.6% investors had penciled in.

On Thursday, US and China trade representatives will begin their deputy-level talks in Washington. This will lead to high-level discussions next month. While many parts of global financial markets are holding out hope for progress in the 18-month standstill, aspects of the commodities trade are taking a wait-and-see approach. Since the start of the trade war, there have been numerous reports of a nearby agreement, only for talks to fall through and the two sides escalating their trade dispute.

In the backdrop this week is the Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. What was certain to be a meeting to cut interest rates by 25 basis points, fed fund traders now anticipate that there will not be a rate cut, deferring a move to October.

A lack of a rate cut could be bad for the red metal because it would not send a jolt to the economy. Copper is an important component for construction, manufacturing, and other industrial sectors, so without a cash injection, copper may not enjoy a rally.

In other metal markets, December gold futures tacked on $1.00, or 0.06%, to $1,512.50 per ounce. October silver futures added $0.10, or 0.55%, to $18.125 an ounce. October platinum futures edged up $4.60, or 0.49%, to $943.80 per ounce. October palladium futures advanced $4.90, or 0.31%, to $1,597.10 an ounce.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.


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Andrew Moran
I am a full-time professional writer. Prior to my self-employment, I worked as a reporter for Digital Journal covering the politics beat and The Toronto Times reporting on the city’s entertainment scene. I currently write mostly about business, marketing and finance

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