Base Metals

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Base Metals'

Metals that oxidize, tarnish or corrode relatively easily when exposed to air or moisture. Base metals are widely used in commercial and industrial applications. They are more abundant in nature and therefore far cheaper than precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Base metals include aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Base Metals'

While the term "base metals" probably arose because these materials are inexpensive and more commonly found than "noble" metals such as gold and platinum, base metals are invaluable to the global economy because of their utility and ubiquity. Copper, a leading base metal, is often called the "metal with a Ph.D. in economics" because its widespread use makes its price very sensitive to global economic trends.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Solutionary

    Soluble matter comprised of salts, including gypsum, which is ...
  2. James P. Mooney

    A former chairman and CEO of OM Group. Born in 1947 in Ohio, ...
  3. IMF Nonfuel Commodity Index

    An index of nonfuel commodities developed and maintained by ...
  4. Mineral Rights

    A landowner's right to receive a portion of the profits of any ...
  5. Precious Metals

    A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or ...
  6. Commodity Futures Contract

    An agreement to buy or sell a set amount of a commodity at a ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What other sectors are most similar to oil & gas drilling?

    Companies involved in locating and extracting natural resource deposits are similar to oil and gas drilling companies. Sectors ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some of the major regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing financial ...

    There are a number of agencies assigned to regulate and oversee financial institutions and financial markets, including the ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of corporations would be expected to have higher growth rates than more ...

    Investors looking for corporations with higher-than-average growth rates have several factors to consider. Although younger ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How are commodity spot prices different than futures prices?

    Commodity spot prices and futures prices are different quotes for different types of contracts. The spot price is the current ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do commodity spot prices indicate future price movements?

    Commodity spot prices indicate future price movements because commodity futures prices are calculated using spot prices. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Where did market to market (MTM) accounting come from?

    Mark to market accounting has been around in concept since the stock market began; however, it was not officially part of ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Investing In The Metals Markets

    Learn the many options available for investing in the earth's chemical elements, such as gold, silver and rare-earth metals.
  2. Investing

    Understanding Rare Earth Metals

    Rare earth metals are quickly becoming a sought-after global commodity. Find out what they are and how you can invest.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Base Metals As An Economic Indicator

    Base metals may not glitter like gold, but they can still guide an investor to a conclusion about overall economic health.
  4. Personal Finance

    Investing In Precious Metals

    Buying precious metals can act as a hedge against economic turmoil.
  5. Economics

    Strike Gold With Junior Mining

    Learn what to watch out for to ensure your "sure thing" isn't another Bre-X.
  6. Chart Advisor

    3 Ways To Trade The Bounce In Coal

    News from the Supreme Court has caused active traders to turn their attention to the coal markets. We'll take a look at how to trade the bounce.
  7. Investing Basics

    What Does Spot Price Mean?

    Spot price is the current price at which a security may be bought or sold.
  8. Investing Basics

    What Does a Clearing House Do?

    A clearing house is a third-party agency or separate entity that acts as a go-between for buyers and sellers in financial markets.
  9. Investing Basics

    What is Meant by Implied Volatility?

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
  10. Economics

    How Gloomy Headlines Support Eurozone Stocks

    It's hard to miss the many headlines on Europe lately with news ranging from Greece’s debt saga to the details of ongoing European Central Bank stimulus.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Multicurrency Note Facility

    A credit facility that finances short- to medium-term Euro notes. Multicurrency note facilities are denominated in many currencies. ...
  2. National Currency

    The currency or legal tender issued by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. The national currency of a nation is ...
  3. Treasury Yield

    The return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the debt obligations of the U.S. government. Treasuries are considered ...
  4. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
  5. European Central Bank - ECB

    The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed ...
  6. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!