Copper slumped for a third day as China’s trade and industrial production in May trailed estimates and on prospects that the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus. China and the U.S. are the top consumers of metals.
The metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.1 percent to $7,151.25 a metric ton, the lowest price since May 16, and was at $7,157.25 at 10:24 a.m. in Tokyo. Prices lost 1.1 percent last week. Futures for delivery in July on the Comex slid 1.1 percent to $3.2325 per pound.
China’s industrial output rose a less-than-forecast 9.2 percent in May from a year earlier and factory-gate prices fell for a 15th month, while export gains were at a 10-month low and imports dropped, data released over the weekend show. American employers took on 175,000 workers in May, beating the 163,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, data showed on June 7.
“China’s data over the weekend stoked concern over demand in China, depressing the metals markets,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. Better-than-expected U.S. jobs data fueled debate over whether the Fed will reduce bond purchases, he said.
Unwrought copper and copper products imports by China were 358.672 tons in May, the customs agency said on June 8. That compared with 295,799 tons in April and 419,741 tons a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed today through June 12 for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.
On the LME, aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also declined.
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