Manufacturing surveys in China, Europe, and the United States have recently signaled weakness alongside that of metal prices. Reuters’s Andy Home reports:

China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the third straight month in June.

The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 49.0, a slight improvement on May but still below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

The Caixin PMI, which is generated from surveys of smaller, more export-oriented companies, was slightly better at 50.5 but that was down from May levels.

Taken together, the PMIs suggest China’s giant factory sector is struggling to maintain its early-year momentum and base metals are paying the price.

The year started with high expectations of a super-charged Chinese rebound after last year’s stringent lockdowns but that has not happened.

Indeed, the weakness has extended beyond China with both Europe and the United States also experiencing manufacturing downturns.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) index of base metals has sunk from a January high of 4,356 to 3,704.