Shanghai Futures Exchange copper fell by 0.6 percent to 36,090 yuan ($5,473.5) a tonne on Thursday after China's stock markets tumbled limit down in early trade, fuelling concerns about the demand for industrial metals in the world's second biggest economy. China stocks slid 7 percent on Thursday after less than half an hour of trading, triggering a newly introduced circuit breaker mechanism.
That sent metals like copper, zinc and tin sliding back towards prices last seen during the 2009 global financial crisis. "The two biggest pressures on metals are coming from the Chinese equity market - now we've been limit down two days out of four to start the year - the second being from currencies, mostly the RMB, with a quite rapid depreciation to start the year," said head of Asia commodities research Ivan Szpakowski at Citi in Hong Kong. "I think we still have downward pressure on metals." Across other metals, Malaysia imposed a three-month ban on bauxite mining following an alarm over its environmental impact, in a move that could dent stockpiles in the world's biggest buyer of the aluminium-making ingredient, China.