Copper has been in its worst weekly price since the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, reflecting a worsening global economy.

The metal fell below $7,000 (£5,913) a tonne for the first time since November 2020, as fears of a global recession grew.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.8% at $6,968 a tonne and the Bloomberg Industrial metals index fell to a 17-month low amid concerns that rising inflation will reduce spending by major producers.

This product is known as “Dr Copper” because it is a good indicator of the health of the world economy because it is used as a raw material for various products.

Its price has fallen nearly 35% in the past four months, erasing gains made at the start of the war in Ukraine. Traders expect the dispute to lead to a shortage of goods. However, fears of a recession have been operating in financial markets, which are growing.

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest miners, warned on Friday that the global economy is slowing due to the Russia-Ukraine war, tight monetary policy to curb inflation and China’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The Anglo-Australian miner said demand in China, its biggest market, had “done” in May. On Friday, government data showed that China’s economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter.

Reflecting on the poor performance, Rio Tinto said: “Our product prices fell in the quarter, amid growing fears and declining consumer confidence.

“Trade disruptions, food insecurity and the global focus on energy access continue to put pressure on transport, which must be reduced significantly before inflation ends.”

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The company also warned of “weakening consumer sentiment” in Europe and “a lack of capacity”.

Oil prices hit $95 a barrel for the first time since the Ukraine invasion amid weak sentiment on Thursday. However, they were close to $100 a barrel after Joe Biden said he would not be able to get enough oil from OPEC countries during his trip to the Middle East.

Soni Kumari, an analyst at ANZ bank, said: “Things do not look good for China, which was the only one that stabilized industrial production amid the financial crisis in the US and Europe.”

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