Copper Sinks to Three-Week Low on Swine Flu Scare

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"Investors in Asia are all the more aware of the potential damage after the outbreak of SARS. . ."

Copper sank to its lowest level in three weeks.

"This swine flu news on top of the recession is really pushing everything down," said Zachary Oxman, managing director with TrendMax Futures. "I think the markets are trying to draft what this 'pandemic' really could be and if it's going to be as bad as it is. . .but I think commodity markets might be overdoing it a bit."

Copper for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division slipped US6.45c, or over 3%, to settle at $US1.9855 a pound, its lowest level on a closing basis since April 6.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for three months delivery ended down $US120 at $US4350 a ton. Earlier, it hit a near three-week low of $US4252.

Fears of a global pandemic of swine flu, which first emerged in Mexico, where it has killed nearly 150 people, are growing as the disease has spread to the United States, Canada and Europe.

A pandemic would deal a major blow to a world economy already suffering its worst crisis in decades, and experts say it could cost trillions of dollars.

"Investors in Asia are all the more aware of the potential damage after the outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong six years ago hobbled the city and regional economy, as well as flare-ups of bird flu in the past few years," RBC Capital said in a note.

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