“Recession fears are the dominating factor right now, that’s taking casualties right, left and centre. Every time there’s an indication of more hawkish policy, markets fall further,” said Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at WisdomTree.
Euro zone inflation hit another record high in June, data showed on Friday, which Shah said “looks alarming high, giving more firepower to the ECB”.
Even some bullish news from top metals consumer China failed to lift sentiment. China’s manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest in 13 months in June, buoyed by a strong rebound in output.
But U.S. manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in June to a two-year low, while the picture was also gloomy in the euro zone.
“Trying to get China back to full speed when the rest of the world is looking like it will slow down is going to be difficult,” Shah added.
LME copper was on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline, having registered its worst quarter since 2011 in the three months ended June, falling 20.4%. It was down 4% for the week.
Other industrial metals also fell, with zinc dropping 9% this week and aluminium headed for its sixth straight weekly fall.