In trading today, copper really plunged at the open; HG1 (the front month futures price) slammed as low as $2.46 and what would’ve been the lowest price since October 2016. Even though copper recovered throughout the rest of the day, it would still close down sharply at $2.5125 – and still significant at the lowest price since early 2017.
Copper had traded lower before that news came out earlier today. The Chinese had beaten everyone to the punch late Friday night. China’s National Bureau of Statistics had announced its own PMI figures for the month of August. As you might imagine from nothing more than the implications of Dr. Copper, they weren’t good.
The official manufacturing PMI fell back to 49.5 last month from 49.7 during July. It was the fourth straight month less than fifty, and the seventh out of the last nine. These sub-50 PMI numbers are becoming equivalent to some of the lowest growth levels in modern industrial China’s history (the IP estimate for July 2019 was effectively the lowest on record).