The price of copper futures dropped on Thursday, as commodity futures brokers and traders reacted to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadephia. The general economic index for the region dropped to negative 7.7 in August, the worst figure in a year. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast an increase in the index to 7.
That news was accompanied by the latest jobless figures, which showed that in the week ending on August 14, jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 500,000, above even the worst estimates of analysts.
“The Philadelphia report was a really big surprise and really big miss,” Donald Selkin, the chief market strategist at National Securities Corp., told the news service. “I don’t see how the current economic conditions can support copper at these prices.”
Copper futures contracts for September delivery ended the day lower by 0.93 percent at $3.3185 per pound on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Up until this point, most of the economic recovery has been driven by improved manufacturing and businesses restocking inventories. If employment and consumer spending fail to pick up, the economy could be in real trouble.
There are, however, some concerns about supply, as China says it may shut the plants of polluting copper smelters for up to two years.
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