Copper futures fell the most in four weeks on speculation that demand will ebb during the Lunar New Year holiday in China, the world’s biggest buyer of industrial metal, while Europe’s debt woes mounted.
Financial markets in China are shut this week. Ministers from the 17-member euro area met today to discuss aid to Cyprus and Greece as a tightening election contest in Italy and a political scandal in Spain roiled markets.
“The main thing today is that the Chinese New Year takes a lot of buyers out of the markets,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for March delivery declined 1 percent to settle at $3.7225 a pound at 1:06 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 11.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 1.1 percent to $8,199 a metric ton ($3.72 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, zinc and lead also fell. Tin was unchanged.
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