Bloomberg News

Copper Drops Most in Three Weeks on Europe Crisis, China Growth

October 19, 2011

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures fell the most in three weeks on concern that demand will ease as Europe’s debt crisis persists and economic growth slows in China, the world’s largest metal buyer.

Moody’s Investors Service yesterday cut Spain’s credit rating for a third time since June 2010 as the region’s fiscal woes weigh on the country’s economy. Gross domestic product in China expanded in the third quarter at the slowest pace since 2009. Copper has slumped 30 percent from a record $4.6575 a pound on Feb. 15.

“Copper is under pressure because of a theme of slowing economies throughout the world,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Prices will need to go lower to attract Chinese buyers as there’s ample supply” in the country, he said.

Copper futures for December delivery dropped 3 percent to close at $3.258 at 1:16 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Sept. 28.

“Full-scale restocking might not kick in until the first quarter of 2012” in China, Andrey Kryuchenkov, a London-based analyst at VTB Capital, said in a report. “Also, we shall need some clarity on the euro-zone bailout, so that we avoid growth stagnation and another panic equity selloff.”

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 3.2 percent to $7,210 a metric ton ($3.27 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead also declined in London. Tin rose 2.7 percent, the first gain in a week, after Indonesia’s PT Timah, the biggest exporter, said it will delay resuming shipments.

--Editors: Steve Stroth, Patrick McKiernan

To contact the reporters on this story: Yi Tian in New York at ytian8@bloomberg.net; Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

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


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