The copper market is so bleak miners are turning to the gospel

The mood is a reversal from a year ago, as demand for most metals suffers due to the US-China trade war.

The mood in base-metals markets has turned so miserable that copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc. turned to a local gospel choir to add some cheer as the industry gathers in London.

Freeport put in a last-minute call for the group to help Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson wind down the week on a high note. Together, they entertained attendees at a dinner hosted by the company Wednesday with uplifting renditions of classics including “O-o-h Child” and “Oh Happy Day.”

For traders, miners and investors attending LME Week this year, there hasn’t been much else to celebrate, at least in the short term. The mood is a reversal from a year ago, as demand for most metals suffers due to the U.S.-China trade war.

“It would all be good if we didn’t have this damn trade war,” Adkerson said. “There was a negative mood coming into this week.”

Still, there’s potential for an uplift on the horizon, he said.

“An improvement in economic conditions, which is in everybody’s interest in this world, has the potential for having a major near-term uplift in copper prices,” he said. “We’re not predicting it, we’re not running our business on that, but I think it’s a real possibility.”

(By Mark Burton)

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