Bloomberg News

Copper Falls Most in Eight Weeks on Mounting Europe Debt Concern

December 14, 2011

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell the most in eight weeks on mounting concern that Europe’s debt crisis will erode demand for industrial metals. Aluminum slumped to the lowest since July 2010.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no “simple and fast” solution to the region’s crisis. The Federal Reserve yesterday refrained from taking new measures to spur growth. Copper has dropped 26 percent this year, as Europe’s debt woes escalated and demand weakened in China and the U.S., the world’s largest metals buyers.

“Prices have continued to soften as concerns over the euro-zone crisis and a lack of action by the U.S. Fed weighed on sentiment,” Gayle Berry, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London, said in a report.

Copper futures for March delivery retreated 4.7 percent to close at $3.2785 a pound at 1:16 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Oct. 20.

“Risk is very much off,” Ole Hansen, a senior manager of trading advisory at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said in an e- mail.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 5.1 percent to $7,210 a metric ton ($3.27 a pound).

Aluminum declined 2 percent to $1,962 a ton in London after falling to $1,955.75, the lowest since July 20, 2010. LME- monitored stockpiles climbed to a record for the third straight day.

Nickel tumbled 4.9 percent to $17,400 a ton, the biggest drop since Nov. 1. Zinc, tin and lead also declined.

--Editors: Daniel Enoch, Patrick McKiernan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yi Tian in New York at ytian8@bloomberg.net; Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net


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