Copper dropped for a second straight day after the U.S. economy expanded less than forecast last quarter and the International Monetary Fund said it will lower its growth outlook for the country.
U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 0.1 percent annual rate, below the 0.5 percent median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, government data showed today. About $85 billion in U.S. spending cuts due to begin tomorrow will shave at least 0.5 percentage point from U.S. expansion, currently estimated at 2 percent this year, William Murray, an IMF spokesman, said today.
“The slow GDP growth we’re seeing is a concern going forward, and the IMF adds to those fears,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The firmness in the dollar is also pressuring commodities across the board.”
Copper futures for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $3.549 a pound at 12:10 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Through yesterday, prices were down 4.4 percent in February, heading for the first monthly decline since October.
Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange increased for a fifth straight month, while inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange are up 49 percent since the end of June.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months slumped 0.7 percent to $7,818 a metric ton ($3.55 a pound).
Nickel, aluminum, tin, lead and zinc also fell in London.
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