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Global Metals Market on Edge Following Guinea Coup and Mounting Concerns About China’s Economy

The coup in Guinea combined with new indicators that China’s economy may be slowing is contributing to a period of considerable turbulence in global metals markets as investors try to gauge the impact of these trends on Chinese demand for bauxite, copper, and iron ore:

  • BAUXITE: The price of aluminum on the Londons Metals Exchange pulled back on Tuesday from the decade-high reached the previous day. Despite considerable uncertainty, investors appear to be taking some comfort that bauxite mining operations in Guinea have not been impacted by the overthrow of the government. Bauxite is a key ingredient used to manufacture aluminum. (BLOOMBERG)
  • COPPER: Mounting anxieties over the health of the Chinese economy weighed on copper prices in Tuesday trading on the London Metals Exchange. New customs data revealed that Chinese imports in August plunged 41% compared to the same time last year and have fallen for five consecutive months. Strong Chinese demand earlier this year helped to push copper prices sharply higher, giving a boost to exporters in Zambia and the DR Congo among others. (REUTERS)
  • IRON ORE: Iron ore traders brushed aside the events in Guinea and pushed up prices 4.2% for the red metal on news that Chinese imports picked up for the first time in five months. China imported a record $20 billion of iron ore in August, mostly from Australia, which came as a bit of a surprise to some given the government’s desire to limit steel production in an effort to curb carbon emissions. (MINING.COM)

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