Copper declined in Shanghai, poised for a second straight quarterly drop, as U.S. jobless claims gained and stockpiles swelled. Aluminum, zinc and lead also fell.
Metal for delivery in July on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 1.1 percent to 54,720 yuan ($8,812) a metric ton and was at 55,250 yuan at 9:45 a.m. in Shanghai. The most-active contract has lost 4.5 percent this year. The London Metal Exchange and Comex are closed today for a public holiday.
LME copper inventories rose to 569,775 tons, surging 78 percent in the first quarter, according to exchange data released yesterday. That was biggest jump since the third quarter of 2005, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. First-time filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to the highest in more than a month, as consumer confidence slid to a six-week low, reports showed yesterday.
“The huge inventory and lackluster seasonal boom in China are weighing on copper,” Yang Lan, an analyst at Dayou Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “If the March PMI on Monday confirms the improvement shown in the preliminary data, copper may find support at the current level.”
China will release the Purchasing Managers’ Index for March on April 1. A preliminary reading released on March 21 by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics stood at 51.7, compared with a final reading of 50.4 for February.
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