Tin declined by the most in a week as industrial metals fell on concern that further property curbs in China may damp demand.
Tin for delivery in three months lost as much as 1.3 percent, the most since March 20, to $22,901 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. It traded at $22,975 at 10:30 a.m. Shanghai time. Nickel dropped 0.5 percent to $16,885 a ton and lead slipped 0.2 percent to $2,176 a ton.
Some banks in China have started to control the scale of loans for real estate development to coordinate with new property curbs, the China Securities Journal reported today. Guangdong province ordered the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen to set home price control targets for 2013 by the end of the March. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index fell by as much as 2 percent, the most since March 12.
“The slide in the stocks market affected the sentiment, and pared the earlier gains in metals,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai Cifco Futures Co. “The biggest concern is still China’s real estate sector, as that accounts for a big proportion for metals consumption, and affects demand in other industries as well.”
Hedge funds are making the biggest bet against copper on record, with speculators raising net-short positions in U.S. copper futures and options by 53 percent to 25,719 contracts in the week ended March 19, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data that begins in 2006.
LME copper was little changed at $7,613.50 a ton. The metal for July delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.5 percent to 55,590 yuan ($8,948) a ton.
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