Bloomberg News

Copper Falls Most in Three Weeks as Europe’s Crisis May Deepen

January 31, 2012

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell the most in three weeks as European leaders struggled to complete a Greek rescue program, dimming prospects for global growth and metals demand.

The dollar strengthened against the euro as signs of Greek opposition to budget oversight fueled concern that the region’s crisis will deepen. China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, held off on a reduction in required bank reserves that some economists had predicted. The move signals that the country’s growth may continue to slow, said Matthew Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial.

“We’re seeing a stronger dollar, and a lot of people shunning risk” because of the Greek crisis, Zeman said by telephone from Chicago. China’s decision on monetary policy “was also a disappointment” for the market, he said.

Copper futures for March delivery declined 1.6 percent to settle at $3.8265 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. That was the biggest loss since Jan. 4.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.1 percent to $8,429 a metric ton ($3.82 a pound). The metal closed below its 200-day moving average today, a signal that some traders who follow historical price patterns perceive as bearish. Zinc, lead, tin and nickel also dropped in London, while aluminum rose.

--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

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


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