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Sagging Copper Could Get Boost From Massive Tesla Model 3 Sales

Investors in copper were licking their wounds on Friday as the metal finished another down week, its worst since early January.

A big culprit in the weakness of copper prices has been the slowing Chinese economy and fears that the People's Republic of China will accelerate exports of the metal to alleviate its own rising stockpiles.

Another event, half a world away, could be a harbinger of much better news for bullish copper investors. That was the 325,000 (and counting) $1,000 deposits taken by Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) from potential buyers of the company's Model 3 mass-market battery-powered car, slated to go on sale late next year.

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Skeptics of battery-powered vehicles, who point to numerous overly optimistic forecasts for sales of Nissan's (NSANY) Leaf and General Motors' (GM - Get Report) extended-range Volt, are being forced to reconsider, based on budding interest in Model 3, a mainstream car that could sell...