Trade war talk hits mining and metals sectors

April 4, 2018

According the Financial Times, fears of a trade war between the United States and China have taken a toll on mining companies and commodity prices.

Both metal prices and shares of mining companies took a hit on April 4 after China threatened retaliatory tariffs against the United States, deepening a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

The price of copper fell by 2 percent on the London Metal Exchange, while shares in miners Rio Tinto and Anglo American dropped by 3 percent.
China’s threat to impose tariffs on around $50 billion of imports from the United States has increased the threat of a trade war, which could hit global economic growth and weaken commodity prices.

President Donald Trump’s administration has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, causing the price of aluminium to fall to an eight-month low on April 3.

China is the world’s largest consumer of copper, responsible for more than 40 percent of demand. It is also the largest producer of aluminium, a lightweight metal used in soda and beer cans. Copper fell 2 percent to trade at $6,668.5/t. Shares in Rio Tinto fell 2.8 percent, while Anglo American fell 3.8 percent.

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