Copper prices were sliding Wednesday on concerns that credit market problems would spill over into the commodities arena and hurt demand for the metal.
September-dated contracts were down 7 cents at $3.58 a pound in recent action on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
PowerShares DB Base Metals
exchange-traded fund, which tracks prices for copper and other industrial metals, was losing 1.9%.
Also hurting prices was news that striking miners in Chile were back on the job, according to a report in the
newsletter. Chile is the world's largest producer of copper.
Turning to precious metals, benchmark contracts for gold bullion were down $3.90 at $675.40 an ounce, while silver was off 4 cents at $12.98 an ounce.
The bullion ETFs,
streetTracks Gold Shares
iShares Silver Trust
, were up 0.2% and 0.9%, respectively, in recent activity.
In the mining patch,
reported income of 9 cents a share for the second quarter, down from 19 cents in the same period a year ago, but still a penny ahead of the consensus. The shares were down 1.4%.
reported earnings of $74 million for the three months ended June 30 compared with $101 million a year ago. The news sent the shares down 3.2% lately.
As for the agricultural complex, cocoa prices were off 1.5% at $1,913 a ton, while soybean prices were gaining 0.5% at $8.62 a bushel.
Elsewhere, BB&T Capital Markets upped its rating on shares of fruit company
Fresh Del Monte
to hold from underweight, boosting the stock more than 4%.