Copper exchange traded funds look tarnished, with copper futures experiencing their worst daily decline in over two years on fears that China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, will cut demand.
COMEX copper futures dropped 4.2% to $3.08 per pound in afternoon trading Friday, largest decrease since December 2011.
Traders are dumping copper in anticipation rising debt and slowing growth following China’s first onshore bond default as Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. fails to repay debt, Bloomberg reports.
“You have a lot of fear in the market right now,” Tom Power, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said in the article. “The potential for more default is really what’s pushing the market. The market seems to be poised for another move lower.”
The default scare comes amid broader concerns about a slowdown in industrial metal demand from China, which makes up 40% of the world’s copper demand, reports Ira Iosebashvili for the Wall Street Journal. China’s manufacturing sector slowed to a seven-month low in February.
Meanwhile, China’s stockpiles grew by 4.6% to 207,320 tons this week, a 10 week high.