Metals extended their biggest daily plunge this year, buffeted by signs of ample supplies of copper, concern over the outlook for demand in China and a stronger dollar. Iron ore futures plunged in Dalian, steel tumbled in Shanghai and mining shares slid to the lowest level in four months.
Three-month copper lost 0.7 percent to $5,560 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange by 2:47 p.m. in Singapore, after sinking 3.5 percent on Wednesday as stockpiles tracked by the LME jumped by the most in almost two months. Nickel fell 2 percent, adding to a 3 percent slide a day earlier. Iron ore and steel futures in China slumped the maximum daily limit.
Metals have come under pressure after data this week signaled a slowdown in China’s manufacturing sector, with the LMEX Index tumbling 2.5 percent on Wednesday, the most since November. The sell-off was also spurred after lawmakers in the Philippines rejected the appointment as Environment Secretary of Gina Lopez, who driven a mining crackdown. U.S. central bankers kept to their outlook for gradual monetary-policy tightening.