Industrial Metals Retreat Amid Tightening Concerns in China
Lead declined from the highest level in more than a week as copper and zinc dropped after China’s central bank governor’s comments on inflation signaled a heightened focus on controlling prices.
Lead for delivery in three months lost as much as 0.7 percent to $2,235 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $2,239 at 10:49 a.m. in Shanghai. Copper fell 0.2 percent to $7,772 a ton and zinc dropped 0.3 percent to $1,977 a ton.
China should be on “high alert” over inflation after February’s figures exceeded forecasts, the People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said. Growth of consumer prices accelerated in February, while industrial output had the weakest start to a year since 2009.
“Concerns over China’s macro economy persist,” Li Peng, an analyst at Guotai Junan Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “Real estate is a so-called ‘pillar’ industry to the Chinese economy and has a great impact on metals demand.”
Copper for delivery in July on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.5 percent to 56,530 yuan ($9,094) a ton, as metal for delivery in May on the Comex in New York was little changed at $3.521 per pound.
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