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Trio of critical signs point to global economic slowdown

Downturn in copper prices, weak shipping rates and historic yield inversion raise red flags

Container shipping rates have dropped with consumption.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Three leading indicators, namely lower copper prices, the inverted U.S. yield curve and depressed shipping rates, have converged to warn of a slowdown in global economic growth.

The price of copper has recently fallen around 20% from this year's peak, according to an index based on three-month futures traded on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc similarly plunged 30% or so, and aluminum by about 20%.

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