Bloomberg News

Copper Caps Biggest Weekly Loss in a Month as China Imports Drop

June 10, 2011

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell, capping the biggest weekly loss in a month, on a decline in imports of the metal by China, the world’s largest consumer.

Inbound shipments slipped 3 percent in May from the prior month, customs figures show, as users drew down inventories and higher London prices made imports more expensive. The metal also retreated as copper inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange posted a weekly increase for the ninth time in 10 weeks.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the market and people just don’t know what position to take, so there is no volume,” said Magmura Kamanova, a broker at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London.

Copper futures for July delivery dropped 5.15 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $4.056 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price fell 1.9 percent this week, the most since May 6.

The metal declined for three months, from March through May, as China raised interest rates and took other steps to curb above-target inflation. Manufacturing advanced in May at the slowest pace in nine months, a report showed June 1.

Copper inventories tracked by the LME rose for a fifth day to the highest level since May 2010. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined to near a 21-month low.

In London, copper for three-month delivery fell $117, or 1.3 percent, to $8,938 a metric ton ($4.05 a pound).

The metal is poised for a drop to $8,670 in one to two weeks if it completes a so-called bear-flag pattern by closing below $9,072 on June 13, Lynnden Branigan, a technical strategist at Barclays Capital, said today in an interview from New York.

Nickel, aluminum, lead, tin and zinc also dropped in London.

--Editors: Daniel Enoch, Millie Munshi.

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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