Bloomberg News

Copper Drops for Second Day on European Debt-Crisis Concern

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Copper slumped for a second day amid concern that Europe’s debt crisis will curb demand for industrial metals.

The three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.5 percent to $7,567.25 a metric ton and traded at $7,579 at 4:41 p.m. Tokyo time. The metal dropped as much as 3.2 percent yesterday, the biggest decline in three weeks. The March-delivery contract slumped 0.6 percent to $3.4435 per pound on the Comex in New York.

“Metals markets remain on edge as a result of continuing European economic uncertainty,” said Gavin Wendt, the founder and senior resource analyst at Sydney-based Mine Life Pty. “Nevertheless, the fundamentals remain sound with respect to emerging-economy demand.”

The European Union summit last week offered few new measures and doesn’t diminish the risk of credit downgrades on nations, Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday. Fitch Ratings said a comprehensive solution has not yet been offered and predicted a “significant economic downturn” in the region.

Economic data later today may show Germany’s investor confidence slid to a three-year low, while sales at U.S. retailers probably rose in November, based on a survey of economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Grasberg Strike

Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia expect to sign an agreement with the company’s local unit to end a three-month strike in one or two days, a union spokesman said.

China’s imports of the metal, copper alloy and products gained 18 percent to 452,022 tons from 383,507 tons in October, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data posted on the website of the General Administration of Customs. That’s the highest level since March 2010, according to Bloomberg data.

Copper for February delivery on the Shanghai exchange retreated 1.1 percent to close at 56,120 yuan ($8,815) a ton.

Aluminum rose 0.8 percent at $2,032 per ton in London and zinc gained 0.9 percent at $1,950.5 per ton. Nickel dropped 1.4 percent to $18,200 per ton and tin fell 0.8 percent to $19,700 per ton, while lead retreated 0.3 percent to $2,099 per ton.

--With assistance from Eko Listiyorini in Jakarta. Editors: Jarrett Banks, Jake Lloyd-Smith

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Dobson at rdobson4@bloomberg.net


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