Shares of commodities producers were among the hardest hit Wednesday, as commodity prices were pressured by trade tensions and a strengthening dollar.
The selloff in industrial metals and other commodities intensified as the latest tariff threats from China and the U.S. escalated worries about the impact of a trade battle on the global economy.
Copper tumbled as much as 4% to its lowest level in nearly a year, before closing down 3.4%. Futures prices for the red metal have tumbled 17% from a four-year high in June, bringing it close to a bear market.
The trade tensions also pounded other materials; zinc, tin and lead plunged at least 2%.
The slump extended to almost all corners of the commodity market, with materials from oil to cotton falling.
China is the world's biggest commodity consumer and accounts for roughly half the demand of many metals like copper, so concerns over its economy can swing materials' prices.
In corporate news, Glencore Chairman Tony Hayward, the former chief executive of BP, is heading a new committee to oversee the Anglo-Swiss mining giant's response to a subpoena by the U.S. Justice Department. On July 3, Glencore said it had received a subpoena from the Justice Department relating to its compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money-laundering statutes. The company said it was asked to produce documents concerning Glencore's business in Nigeria, Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to the present. ([email protected])