Metal prices hit multi-year lows on Friday as weaker-than-expected data from China and the euro zone raised concerns about global growth, but the U.S. dollar rose on the prospects of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
Copper CMCU3 fell to its lowest level since 2009 after a survey showed Chinese manufacturing contracted by the most in 15 months in July as orders shrank. Worries grew over demand in the world’s biggest metals consumer with stockpiles mounting up.
The flash Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted for the fifth straight month, and faster than economists polled by Reuters had estimated.
Euro zone business activity also started the second half on a less secure footing than expected, hit by Greece’s near-bankruptcy. Markit’s flash PMI fell to 53.7 this month from June’s four-year high of 54.2. A Reuters poll had predicted a more modest dip to 54.0.
While economies looked weaker in Europe and Asia, better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims kept the Federal Reserve on track for a rate increase in coming months.
The U.S. dollar was 0.4 percent higher against a basket of currencies, trading at 97.489 .DXY. U.S. stock futures ESc1 pointed to a slightly higher open on the Wall Street.