Copper prices fell 2.7% to $2.609 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday, entering bear market territory after slipping to a 13-month low on Tuesday.
Copper prices are now down 20% from the four-year highs that were reached in June due in part to another round of shaky economic news coming out of China.
Adding to the downward pressure on copper prices was a Bloomberg report that the union at Chile's Escondida mine, the world's largest, is close to reaching an agreement with BHP Billiton (BHP) that will resume production at the mine and increase the supply of copper on the market.
Other miners getting hammered Wednesday include Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) , which is down 4.65%, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX - Get Report) , which is down 9.7%, Vale S.A. (VALE - Get Report) , which declined 4.9%, and Newmont Mining Corp (NEM - Get Report) , which is falling 5.36%.
China, the world's largest commodity consumer, as well as the country that is responsible for about half of the world's copper demand, reported that fixed-asset investments in the country's nonrural areas grew at a 5.5% rate during the first seven months of the year.
That increase matched the lowest rate of growth in the country since 1999.