Bloomberg News

Copper Prices Fall Most in a Week as Chinese Demand May Slump

June 15, 2011

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell for the fifth time in six sessions on concern that rising interest rates may curb demand in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

The country’s central bank yesterday increased lenders’ reserve requirements to a record after consumer prices accelerated at the fastest pace in almost three years. Borrowing costs may climb again within “weeks, if not days,” according to an unsigned editorial in the China Daily today. Copper prices have dropped 6.9 percent this year.

“Monetary tightening remains a concern,” said Nic Brown, an analyst at Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. in London. “The high levels of inflation remain a concern. They haven’t gone away.”

Copper futures for September delivery declined 3.45 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $4.139 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

The metal erased a gain of as much as 0.6 percent as separate reports showed manufacturing in New York unexpectedly contracted this month and U.S. industrial production rose less than forecast in May.

The market was “choppy” after “disappointing” U.S. economic data, Randy North, a New York-based analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in an e-mailed report.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped $15, or 0.2 percent, to $9,154 a metric ton ($4.15 a pound)

Zinc, lead, aluminum, nickel and tin fell in London.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporters on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net; Pham-Duy Nguyen in Seattle at pnguyen@bloomberg.net

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


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