Copper Drops for Third Day as China Flash PMI Trails Estimates

Copper declined for a third day in London after a preliminary reading of China’s manufacturing in April trailed estimates, raising concerns about demand from the largest user. Aluminum, lead, nickel and zinc also fell.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.2 percent to $6,853 a metric ton, before trading at $6,877.25 at 10:01 a.m. in Shanghai. Metal for delivery in July on the Comex in New York lost 0.9 percent to $3.1150 per pound.

A preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics stood at 50.5. That compares with 51.5 in a Bloomberg News survey, and a final reading of 51.6 in March.

“Economic data again fell short of estimates, hitting the stock market and metals,” said Wang Na, an analyst at Guolian Futures Co. “Now all eyes will be on the official PMI data to be released on May 1.”

Morgan Stanley lowered its 2013, 2014 copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, lead estimates, while reiterating its preference for copper and tin, analysts Peter Richardson and Joel Crane said in a quarterly report today. Copper’s 2013 estimate was cut by 9 percent to $3.53 a pound ($7,793 a ton), and the 2014 estimate was reduced by 3 percent to $3.60.

Metal for delivery in August on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.5 percent to 49,260 ($7,976) a ton.

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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