Copper, trading at the lowest price since August in London, fell for a fourth day on concern demand shows few signs of reviving as stockpiles of the metal swell.
Figures today will show U.S. service industries, ranging from housing to retailing, expanded at a slower pace last month, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said. Manufacturing in the euro zone shrank for a 20th month, according to a report yesterday. Copper inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange are the highest since October 2003.
“Base metals are telling a story about global growth which is not reflected in U.S. equity markets, for example,” Guy Wolf, a macro strategist at Marex Spectron Group in London, said by e-mail. “There is limited physical demand and no shortage of supply. The rise in LME stocks is simply a reflection of this.”
Copper for delivery in three months declined 0.3 percent to $7,443 a metric ton by 10:59 a.m. on the LME. Prices reached $7,404.50, the lowest since Aug. 20. Copper for delivery in May fell 0.5 percent to $3.3625 a pound on the Comex in New York.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) of U.S. shares closed at a record high yesterday and is up 10 percent this year, while the LME Index of the six main industrial metals traded in London has dropped 6.8 percent in 2013. The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. services index will come in at 55.5 for March, down from 56 in the prior month, the survey showed.
Copper inventories tracked by the LME rose for a 33rd session to 572,325 tons, daily exchange figures showed. Stocks monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell to 241,943 tons this week, according to figures today. The Chinese market will be shut tomorrow and April 5 for national holidays.
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.
Zinc advanced in London after reaching this year’s lowest price yesterday and lead gained from today’s 2013 low. Tin, nickel and aluminum dropped.
“The selloff is now overdone,” Jesper Dannesboe, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, said by e-mail of metals. Dannesboe said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see higher prices soon.”
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