Chart of the week: Dr Copper diagnoses an ailing economy

Copper price chart

“Dr. Copper has delivered a verdict and it is not good,” says Neil Hume in the Financial Times. The red metal is used in a wide array of industries, notably electronics and construction, so it is widely deemed a barometer of global activity. The price has slipped by a fifth this year and is now at a near-two-year low of around $5,600 a tonne.

A gauge of US manufacturing has hit a decade-low, while its eurozone equivalent has fallen to a seven-year trough. Weakening demand has negated the impact of a 2% drop in mined supply this year. Longer term, however, the outlook for copper is auspicious: an electric car uses three times as much copper as a conventional one, while miners have struggled to find big, high-quality deposits.


Viewpoint

“Elon Musk has been mercifully quiet [of late]… but WeDontWork’s Adam Neumann [has] picked up the slack with his flailing efforts to bring his money-losing train wreck of a company public… Recent reporting [has] described Neumann as even more megalomaniacal than Musk, which is quite a feat though hardly conducive to… long-term business success… Neumann likes to muse about living forever [or] becoming… the first trillionaire… The fact that an individual who behaves like a total buffoon is indulged by institutional investors illustrates how detached from reality the so-called global elite has become and how inflated the current stockmarket bubble and particularly the tech market bubble has grown… groupthink… leads investors… to ignore not only its obvious absurdity, but also the dangers it poses to financial and societal stability.”

Michael Lewitt, The Credit Strategist