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Metal Prices Fall on Fresh U.S.-China Trade-War Fears

CommoditiesSep 14, 2018 02:19PM ET
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Copper prices fell sharply late Friday.

Investing.com - Copper prices fell on Friday as reports suggesting President Donald Trump was ready to impose tariffs on China raised concerns about demand for metals.

Copper prices fell 1.83% to $2.63.

Trump instructed aides on Thursday to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products, but the announcement has been delayed as the administration considers revisions based on concerns raised in public comments, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

The prospect of further trade penalties on China, the world's largest metals consumer, stoked fears that Beijing could rein in spending as its monthslong trade fight with Washington has exacerbated vulnerabilities in the Chinese economy.

China’s fixed-asset investment growth hit a record low, slowing to 5.3% in the first eight months of the year, below economists' forecasts, government data showed on Friday.

Metals were also held back by an uptick in the greenback on renewed trade concerns and rising optimism about U.S. economic strength following upward revisions to July's retail sales data.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.47% to 94.97.

Nickel futures fell 1.49% to 12,412.50, zinc prices lost 1.87% to 2,309.75 and aluminum prices fell 0.76% to 2,036.75.

Silver futures fell on 0.80% to $14.13 a troy ounce, while platinum futures lost 0.73% to $797.40.

Gold prices, meanwhile, were also pressured by rising U.S. bond yields.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $8.80, or 0.73%, to $1,199.40 troy ounce.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding gold as it pays no interest.

Metal Prices Fall on Fresh U.S.-China Trade-War Fears
 

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