Thursday, June 17, 2010

Freeport (NYSE:FCX) Vulnerable to Weak Housing Market

The recent news that housing starts in the U.S. plunged after the tax credit ended, wasn't good news for copper producer Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), which has also faced bad news, along with other copper producers, over the Chinese battling inflation in their property market by raising interest rates and limiting the number of properties people can buy.

Add to that increasingly bad economic news from the European Union over its sovereign debt crisis, and as far as their copper business, Freeport is going to struggle for some time, as not much in the way of good economic news is coming from anywhere, confirming we may not have ever left the recession, or at minimum, we're going experience a double-dip recession heading into summer.

There can be no doubt copper prices will fall along with demand, as already seen today in London, where prices fell by 2.5 percent early in the session.

Although Freeport of course mines other metals, copper is their mainstay, and they will be most affected by what happens there, and going forward there isn't much positive to show there is something that will cause copper demand to increase.

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