Zinc Falls as Base Metals Slip Amid Weak Economic Data in China

Zinc led declines in base metals in London as signs of slowing economic growth in China added to concerns that demand for industrial metals will decline. Aluminum and lead also slipped, while copper and nickel were little changed.

Zinc for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.6 percent to $1,907 a metric ton at 11:09 a.m. Seoul time. Copper dropped as much as 0.7 percent to $6,982.75 and swung between losses and gains before trading little changed. The metal yesterday jumped the the most in almost four months.

China’s manufacturing is expanding at a slower-than- estimated pace this month on weakness in global and domestic demand, a report showed this week, as economic growth in the world’s biggest metals consumer unexpectedly lost momentum in the first quarter. Previously owned U.S. home sales unexpectedly dropped in March.

“The overall sentiment remains weak,” Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank (004940) Futures Co., said by phone from Seoul. “Macro indicators out of economies from China to U.S. still don’t look that great, which is weighing on metals prices.”

Copper for August delivery rose 0.3 percent to 50,770 yuan per ton ($8,227) on the Shanghai Futures Exchange while the metal for delivery in July on the Comex gained 0.7 percent to $3.1865 per pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net

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

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