Bloomberg News

Copper Falls to One-Week Low as Slowing Economy May Curb Demand

June 02, 2011

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell to a one-week low on concern that the global economic recovery may be faltering as manufacturing slows from China to the U.S., the world’s largest metals buyers.

Manufacturing in the U.S. grew at the slowest pace in more than a year last month, and more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. China said industrial production was the weakest since August. Copper prices have dropped 12 percent from a record in February.

“The market is starting to take more seriously the prospect of a meaningful slowdown in growth in the western world, and potentially in China,” said Daniel Brebner, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in London.

Copper futures for July delivery fell 2.2 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $4.0845 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $4.0325, the lowest since May 25. The metal reached an all-time high of $4.6575 on Feb. 15.

“The weak data has really started to weigh on the market,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, a senior strategist at Lind- Waldock, a broker in Chicago. “We are going to see a little bit of a struggle.”

Copper may fall to $3.85 by the end of this month, Ilczyszyn said.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell $182, or 2 percent, to $8,920 a metric ton ($4.05 a pound).

Aluminum, nickel, zinc, lead and tin also fell in London.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporters on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net; Yi Tian in New York at ytian8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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