Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.6% at $8,047 a tonne at 1630 GMT, after falling to $7,955, its lowest since early February 2021.
Nitesh Shah, commodities strategist at WisdomTree, said: “Recession fears are the dominant factor right now, and it’s taking a toll on the left and right and in the middle. Every time there are signs that policy will be more hawkish, the market falls further.”
Data on Friday showed euro zone inflation hit another record high in June, which Shah said “looks astonishingly high, giving the ECB more firepower”.
Even some positive news from major metals consumer China failed to lift sentiment. China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in 13 months in June, boosted by a strong rebound in output.
But U.S. manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in June to a two-year low, while the outlook for the euro zone also dimmed.
“It will be difficult to try to get China back to full speed when the rest of the world looks set to slow,” Shah added.
LME copper was on track for a fourth straight weekly loss, falling 20.4% in the three months to June for its worst quarter since 2011. It was down 4% for the week.
Other industrial metals also fell, with zinc down 9% for the week and aluminum falling for a sixth straight week.