Industrial Metals Extend Drop as Nickel Falls to Eight-Month Low

Industrial metals extended declines after economic data from China and the U.S., the two biggest consumers, raised concern that demand may weaken.

Copper for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.9 percent to $7,135.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,166 by 9:17 a.m. Shanghai time, putting it on course for the lowest close since October 2011. Zinc lost 0.9 percent and nickel slumped as much as 2.2 percent to $15,350 a ton, the lowest since Aug. 16. The LME Index (LMEX) of six primary base metals fell 1.8 percent yesterday, after retreating 2.6 percent on April 12.

China’s first-quarter gross domestic product growth and fixed-asset investment, as well as March industrial production all trailed estimates, yesterday’s data showed. Manufacturing in the New York region expanded less than projected in April. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials dropped 2.3 percent, its worst loss since November.

“Now it’s difficult to say where copper can find support,” Pang Juan, an analyst at Jinrui Futures Co., said by phone from Shenzhen. “Given slumping precious metals, I think it’s time to re-assess the outlook of metals.”

Copper for delivery in August on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.9 percent to 52,380 yuan ($8,466) a ton, and the metal for delivery in May on the Comex in New York dropped 0.8 percent to $3.2405 per pound.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Sun in Shanghai at hsun30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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