Base metals miners are falling across the board Thursday, as copper futures slide to their lowest level since November 2020 on a combination of fears of a large interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve and concerns about China’s economic recovery.
The Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:COPX) sank as much as 5.5% to a 20-month low, with Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) -4.9%, Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) -5.9%, Hudbay Mining (HBM) -4%, First Quantum Minerals (OTCPK:FQVLF) -8.3% and Copper Mountain Mining (OTCPK:CPPMF) -7% all hitting 52-week lows.
Steelmakers are sinking as iron ore prices fell more than 5% to the $100/metric ton around concerns related to China’s property market.
Among Thursday’s losers: (X) -5.3%, (CLF) -7.1%, (MT) -4.2%, (TX) -9.5%, (TS) -4.5%, (CMC) -4.5%, (STLD) -4.2%, (SXC) -4.4%.
Aluminum names Alcoa (AA) and Century Aluminum (CENX) -6.7% and -8.1%, respectively.
“Weaker steel demand from the construction sector in China is a major headwind for the iron ore price,” ANZ commodity strategist Daniel Hymes said.
Several Chinese mills have idled their production facilities or placed them under maintenance earlier than usual to soften the blow from weak demand and high inventories.
Goldman Sachs analysts have been bullish on commodities, especially copper, but now they see recession risks in developed economies causing demand pessimism for the rest of 2022.