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Commodities Corner: Here’s why copper is sitting out a big rally by industrial metals

The performance of industrial metals, particularly copper, is often touted as a guide to the outlook for the global economy, but nowadays, that view is a bit clouded.

Copper HGZ6, +0.17% this week erased their 2016 gain—and are now down nearly 3% in the year to date—while other industrial metals have seen a surge in prices. On the CME, zinc futures have gained about 44%, iron-ore futures jumped 53% and silver SIZ6, -0.04% has rallied by 34% since the end of 2015, while lead futures are up 8% and aluminum has gained 3%. Copper had dipped into negative year-to-date territory in July as well.

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