The major influence affecting the financial markets today stems from the various releases of soft data from China that we have seen today and over the weekend; this is true for the forex market, the stock market and various commodities that are tied to risk appetite, including copper.
News out over the weekend revealing that Chinese exports slumped last month by the largest amount since 2009 (including a 30% fall in imports of unwrought copper) had earlier dragged May copper futures as low as $2.9955 a pound, the lowest level touched by the most-liquid futures contract since June of last year.
After Friday’s weak showing, at those levels, copper was in danger of completing its worst two-day performance since 2011. The situation was exacerbated by weak French industrial production figures, which showed output falling 0.1% year-on-year in January, when consensus estimates had pointed to a small increase.
Futures did mount something of a recovery, though, to settle at $3.0315, and in electronic trading carried on regaining ground to stand at $3.0402 per pound by mid-afternoon in New York.