Bloomberg News

Copper Extends Slide on Concern World Recession Will Curb Demand

September 29, 2011

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Copper dropped for a second day on mounting concern that the global economy is headed into a recession, slowing demand for industrial metals.

Global investors anticipate Europe’s debt crisis will lead to an economic slump, a financial meltdown and social unrest in the next year, a Bloomberg survey found. Europe’s woes have reignited as Greece attempts to stave off default and spars with its European Union partners over whether it deserves the next tranche of aid next month. Copper prices in New York have plunged 30 percent since touching a record in February.

“Fears of global recession” were “the key driver of the copper selloff,” Jesper Dannesboe, a strategist at Societe Generale in London, said today in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for December delivery fell 0.05 cent to settle at $3.246 a pound at 1:10 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after sliding as much as 5.1 percent. The metal has slumped 24 percent since the end of June, heading for the biggest quarterly decline since the last three months of 2008.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped $21, or 0.3 percent, to $7,230 a metric ton ($3.28 a pound).

More than a third of participants in a Bloomberg survey say deteriorating European debt will derail the world economy over the next year, with the pessimism highlighting the pressure policy makers face as they try again to fix the 18-month sovereign debt crisis.

On the LME, tin for delivery in three months rose $125, or 0.6 percent, to $20,675 a ton, after gaining as much as 4.1 percent. Eight tin smelters on Indonesia’s Bangka Island may load about 2,000 tons of refined metal before an export suspension comes into force on Oct. 1, with no shipments permitted after that date, industry executives said.

Zinc fell, while nickel, lead and aluminum gained in London.

--With assistance from Debarati Roy in New York. Editors: Steve Stroth, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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