The price of copper and other base metals slipped on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump threatened more tariffs on China, disappointing investors keen on a trade deal.
While Trump said in a speech that a phase-one trade deal was close, the market focused on his comments about raising tariffs on Chinese goods “very substantially” if a deal failed to be agreed upon.
“It raised the level of uncertainty again, coming at a time when the market’s been in risk-on, happy-days mode for the past month,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.
“If you look at copper, it’s breaking down a bit. We’ve had this uptrend since the start of October, but we failed to break above $6,000 and the 200-day moving average.”
Last week, copper touched $6,011 a tonne, the highest in more than three months, after gaining about 8 per cent since the start of October. Hansen said traders were focusing on support at $5,800, a key technical level.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) shed 0.3 per cent to $5,850 a tonne in official open-outcry trading after touching $5,830, the lowest since November 1. It was on track to fall for a fourth straight session.