Producers of metals and other raw materials fell in tandem with copper futures.

Copper plunged 5% to $4.87 a pound, the largest drop since 2022, amid doubts about the implications of a potential mega-merger for metals prices.

Anglo American shares oscillated after the copper and gold miner agreed to enter takeover talks with rival BHP after it rebuffed an improved proposal of around $50 billion, clearing a path for what would be the largest-ever mining deal.

Shares of BHP, already the world's largest miner by volumes, fell sharply, as investors looked askance at the bid. U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan also tumbled.

Hedge funds have piled into copper miners, including Freeport in recent months in a bet that artificial-intelligence demand for electricity will bolster use of copper.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-22-24 1727ET