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Copper's plunge: a bad omen for world economy?

Some analysts say it's driven by investor panic rather than sudden deterioration in fundamentals

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Prices dived more than US$500 per tonne in early Asian trading on Wednesday.

New York

THE price of copper, the metal often regarded as a benchmark of global industrial demand, has taken an 8 per cent dive this week to its lowest levels in five-and-half years - and in doing so ignited an argument about whether an already punch-drunk world economy is about to suffer