Metal prices have slumped as the world’s largest producer of non-metals looks to sell off assets to raise cash to pay down debt.
The Chinese central bank has already increased the amount of its cash it holds as it seeks to boost its economy after its debt levels soared in 2017.
But now metal prices are showing signs of weakness.
The metal futures exchange rate is down more than 3% to 5.11 US cents.
The copper futures exchange value is up about 2.5% to 1.86 US cents on Friday, but copper is the main metal used in industrial equipment.
China has been buying up metals and other raw materials as it tries to revive its economy and push exports up, partly because of its reliance on the world economy.
The central bank wants to buy up about 80% of the world market by the end of 2019.
It wants to have a greater share of the market by then.
While the metal prices have been falling, the commodities futures market has soared, making it harder for the government to sell the metals and commodities in question.
On Friday, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the government had sold its entire holdings of copper, nickel, gold, silver and platinum, worth about $US7 billion ($7.1 billion), or about 10% of its total reserves.
As a result, the copper futures market fell by $US3 billion or 6.4%.