More pressure on the copper price this morning is coming as a result of news out of China that its industrial production for August showed the slowest rise since December 2008. Industrial output did rise 6.9% from the previous year's August but that was down from a 9% increase in July.
If that were not disconcerting enough to traders, China's retail sales rose 11.9% in August which is a good number, but it too was down from a 12.2% gain in July.
While at face value, these are good numbers, ( and wouldn't we love to see them here in the US!), the problem is that they feed into ideas that overall growth in China is continuing to slow. The general consensus is that China will experience an annual growth rate this year of 7.5%. This recent data throws some cold water on that expectation.
Copper, which is already seeing selling as a result of lower economic growth forecasts ( see my recent post on hedge fund positioning on the short side of the market ), has moved down to retest last week's low in price near the $3.06 level. If bears can succeed in breaching that, I frankly do not see much in the way of chart support until one nears the $3.02 - $3.01 level.
As a side note, silver is also being pressured as is platinum which is continuing the theme of selling across the industrial metals. Palladium is a bit higher as I type these comments but its recent trend has also been lower. Clearly, investors are fretting about global economic growth rates.
"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput
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