Copper Falls From Three-Week High on Chinese Concerns

Copper futures fell from a three-week high on concern that trade data this week in China, the world’s top user of industrial metals, will add to evidence that the country’s economy is slowing.

Chinese imports probably climbed 13 percent in April after increasing 14.1 percent in March, based on the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before tomorrow’s data. Exports increased 9.2 percent, the slowest in five months, the survey showed. Copper buyers are looking for more signs of a recovery after a rise in U.S. payrolls boosted the price by the most in 18 months on May 3, said Brian Booth at Long Leaf Trading Group.

“We saw a good jump in prices last week, but since then, there’s been nothing to reinforce the moves, and the market is waiting to see that,” Booth, a senior market strategist, said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “Copper is backing off a bit until then.”

Copper futures for July delivery fell 0.6 percent to $3.292 a pound at 11:01 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $3.3475, the highest for a most-active contract since April 15. On May 3, the metal jumped 6.8 percent. Through yesterday, the commodity slid 9.4 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.2 percent to $7,255.75 a metric ton ($3.29 a pound). Aluminum, lead, nickel, tin and zinc also declined. The LME was closed yesterday for a public holiday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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