Displaying items by tag: copper
There is a lot of focus right now on how great an impact coronavirus will have on the stock market, both locally and abroad. So far it has impacted stocks on certain days, with the effect immediately disappearing soon after. The reality is, however, that coronavirus’ impact may be uneven, with some sectors getting hit badly and others being fine, even as benchmark indexes might seem largely unhurt. We have already written about how luxury retail is hurting because of a lack of Chinese tourists, but now it is looking like commodities might be deeply wounded across the board. China is a huge driver of commodity markets as its demand fuels the market. And with the economy so shut down, commodity demand is going to drop off a cliff.
FINSUM: What is most worrying is that commodity prices don’t seem to reflect this at all, which means they are at risk of plummeting.
For those paying attention, the metals market is sending some very worrying signs. Copper and other metals have been going through a rough patch, but yesterday seemed to really spell doom. Copper plunged into a bear market, zinc plummeted, and even gold took a big hit despite the panic across markets. Industrial commodities are a good bellwether for economic activity, and while the markets are partly plunging on worries over the Chinese economy, the big drops signal that the whole world could be in for a recession.
FINSUM: We are growing increasingly concerned about the message that metals markets are sending. The big drop across the board in industrial commodities is quite worrying. Hopefully it is a short-term overreaction to the trouble in emerging markets.
Some of the best forward looking recession indicators are in the commodities markets. Because they are generally a gauge for demand in the economy, they indicate where things are headed. Well, one of the best—copper—which is utterly ubiquitous across the global economy, is flashing some very worrying signs. Copper has had a very rough summer, but it has been worsening lately despite better share prices. The commodity just hit its lowest price in over a year. China accounts for around 40% of global copper demand. One analyst summarized the situation, saying “Copper is widely considered to be a bellwether for the global economy and so a weak price is cause for concern”.
FINSUM: Copper is partly at the mercy of the big fears in emerging markets, but that does not seem to account for the extremity of the selloff. This does worry us.
There are a lot of bear market and recession indicators to make an investor nervous right now. There are also a wealth pf positive points. However, one area that really caught our eye was an industrial commodity that says a lot about the direction of the economy. Copper is in the middle of a big fall, and according to the Financial Times, the metal “is telling us not to worry a bit: the metal is telling us to panic”. Copper is down about 18% this year, and most of that fall is since May. Copper is used in a wide range of industrial applications across all regions in the world, it is utterly ubiquitous, so demand for it is a good leading indicator of economic performance.
FINSUM: This seems like a worrying sign, but we must say that some of the loss could be because of the trade war with China. That said, the sharp drop in prices is a very worrying sign.