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MTECHTIPS:-Copper holds near 6-year low amid China stock market volatility

MTECHTIPS:-Copper holds near 6-year low amid China stock market volatility

Copper prices declined on Wednesday, remaining near six-year lows hit earlier in the week, as investors continued to monitor movements on China’s volatile stock market. Copper for September delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 1.4 cents, or 0.61%, to trade at $2.348 a pound during European morning hours. A day earlier, copper inched up 1.6 cents, or 0.68%, to end at $2.362. Copper tumbled to $2.321 on Monday, a level not seen since June 2009. The Shanghai Composite took investors on a roller coaster ride on Wednesday, dropping more than 1% after the open, only to rebound into positive territory ahead of the midday break, and then drop again in afternoon trade to end down 1.7%. The index lost almost 15% in July despite the introduction of government-measures aimed at supporting the market. Data released earlier showing that activity in China’s services sector grew at its fastest pace in 11 months in July failed to ease concerns over the health of the nation’s economy. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.8 last month from June’s reading of 51.8, hitting the highest level since August 2014. Copper prices sank 25.1 cents, or 9.6%, in July, as steep declines on China’s stock market rattled investors’ confidence. Market players are concerned that the plunge in the stock market could spread to other parts of the Chinese economy, triggering fears that the Asian nation’s demand for the industrial metal will decline. China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. Elsewhere, gold futures for December delivery declined $5.30, or 0.49%, to trade at $1,085.40 a troy ounce, while silver futures for September delivery shed 6.2 cents, or 0.43% to trade at $14.49 an ounce.
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