This Morning in Metals: Copper Prices Make Gains as Dollar Weakens

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This morning in metals news, copper prices are buoyed by a softening U.S. dollar, Dalian iron ore drops and trade ministers from the U.S., Japan and the European Union met in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

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Copper Prices Rise

The price of copper has received some support this week, picking up steam on positive sentiment stemming from U.S.-China trade talks held Jan. 7-9.

On Thursday, the metal’s price rose for the fourth time in five sessions, Reuters reported, aided by a weakened dollar. The U.S. dollar and copper, like many metals, are inversely correlated.

The dollar index has been steadily declining over the last month and fell to 95.35 Thursday morning, down from 97.44 as of mid-December.

Dalian Iron Ore Falls

Chinese iron ore futures fell by 1% Thursday, according to another Reuters report.

According to the report, emergency anti-pollution measures announced in China this week impacted demand for steelmaking materials like iron ore.

U.S., Japan, E.U. Trade Ministers Meet

While the U.S.-China trade talks this week dominated the headlines, the U.S. also held talks with representatives from the E.U. and Japan in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, E.U. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, discussed their “shared objective to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to severe overcapacity, create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses, hinder the development and use of innovative technologies, and undermine the proper functioning of international trade, including where existing rules are not effective,” according to a USTR release.

Related to forced technology transfers — a central component of the U.S.’s Section 301 probe vis-a-vis Chinese trade practices — the ministers agreed to work together on the issue, according to the USTR release.

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“In the area of forced technology transfers, Ministers confirmed their agreement to cooperate on enforcement, on the development of new rules, on investment review for national security purposes and on export controls and further take stock of this cooperation by spring,” the release stated.

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