Global Growth Concerns Could Pressure Copper ETFs

Copper prices and related exchange traded products have held up despite the falloff in crude oil prices, but some are growing concerned that global troubles could drag down the industrial metal as well.

Over the past three months, the iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJCTF) rose 7.2%, United States Copper Index Fund (NYSEARCA: CPER) gained 5.8% and iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJCB) increased 6.1%.

Copper for November delivery added more than 3% this month, compared to the 12% drop off in Brent crude. The disparity between the two commodities is notable as many traders cover the two in the same basket of broad commodities, with a larger portion tilted toward energy.

Many also look to the base metal as Dr. Copper or a gauge for the global economy since the metal is a major component in many various industries.

The recent gains in copper has been a stark contrast to the 20% drop off over summer when fears of global trade wars between the U.S. and China heated up, the Wall Street Journal reports. China makes up almost half of all global demand for copper.

Michael Widmer, a commodities strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, argued that the summer pullback was overdone, which has left copper in a more stabilized position when compared to other commodities.