Copper has taken a beating this past week as negative headlines out of China led investors to question the health of the world's second-largest economy.
Last Friday, Shanghai's Chaori Solar, a maker of solar cells, became China's first company to default on domestic notes when it failed to make a full coupon payment. The default is somewhat acceptable to the Chinese government as it takes steps to rein in excessive borrowing and create sustainable economic growth.
Nonetheless, the Chaori Solar default sparked fears there could be more defaults within the country not limited to solar companies, possibly spilling over into industries with excess capacity like steel and mining, particularly copper.
With fear of less economic activity in the industrial sector already looming, Thursday's slowdown to a mere 8.6% growth in Chinese industrial production for February led the market to dump copper futures.
Copper's sudden decline has weighed on U.S. equity markets, but does not necessarily imply equities will begin a downtrend.
U.S. equity markets: SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) and SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) all have seen selling pressure recently due to unrest in Ukraine, as well as a slowdown in Chinese economic activity.
Unlike large declines in iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM), however, investors remain confident in U.S. fundamentals.