Copper prices are on track for the biggest weekly drop in nearly 19 months amid worries over a new coronavirus in China. Copper futures are down over 7 percent in the past week and WTI Crude down more than 17 percent since its Jan 8th high.
“The pressure on the metals complex should be somewhat expected, given that China is the world’s largest metal consumer and any slowdown in industrial activity could start to weigh on metals demand.” — ING
The coronavirus has killed 25 people in China and infected more than 800, while non-fatal cases have been found in at least seven other countries. Europe just reported its first cases. The WHO on Thursday said it was not yet recommending any broader restrictions on travel or trade.
China is suspending transportation in many cities in an attempt to constrain the virus, fearing it can spread even faster as millions of Chinese travel during their Lunar New Year holiday.
This issue needs to be monitored carefully and it’s too early to access its impact on the global economy. Markets always sell first and ask questions later. We are all over it.