Copper slumped for a fifth day to the lowest level in eight months as worse-than-estimated U.S. economic data spurred concern that growth is slowing in the world’s second-biggest user amid increasing stockpiles.
The contract for three-month delivery slid as much as 0.4 percent to $7,356.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the lowest price since Aug. 3, and traded at $7,370 by 10:22 a.m. in Tokyo. Futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $3.3250 a pound on the Comex in New York. China’s financial markets are closed today and tomorrow for national holidays.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. non- manufacturing businesses, which covers almost 90 percent of the economy, fell to 54.4 in March from 56 in February, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said yesterday. The median forecast of 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 55.5. Readings above 50 signal expansion.
“Yesterday’s disappointing U.S. data kept downward pressure amid an absence of Chinese buyers today,” said Tetsu Emori, the chief fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc. in Tokyo. Increasing inventories also sent copper lower, he said.
Copper inventories tracked by the LME rose for a 33rd session to 572,325 tons, daily exchange figures showed. Orders to remove copper from LME warehouses increased 3.7 percent to 120,975 tons. They jumped 87 percent in the past week to the highest since February 2004.
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