Copper Declines for First Day in Three on China Demand Concerns

Copper dropped for the first time in three days on speculation that China will continue to curb its property market, reducing demand from the world’s biggest consumer. Tin, lead and zinc also fell.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.6 percent to $7,260 a metric ton and was at $7,265 at 10:45 a.m. in Tokyo. The metal retreated 1 percent last week. Futures for delivery in July on the Comex were down 0.8 percent at $3.2970 per pound.

China’s new-home prices rose last month in 68 of 70 cities tracked by the government, indicating Premier Li Keqiang will need to maintain efforts to cool the property market even as economic growth slows. The nation’s policy makers are trying to avoid property bubbles and make homes more affordable while bolstering an economy that lost steam in the first quarter.

“Any measures to cool down China’s property market would be negative for metals,” Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. An increase in LME stockpiles and an outflow of funds to stock markets also weighed on copper, he said.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME rose 0.9 percent to 629,950 tons, the highest since Aug. 20, 2003, data from the bourse showed on May 17.

Inventories of refined copper monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell to 190,330 tons last week, the lowest since October, data showed. The contract for September delivery on the bourse fell 0.9 percent to 52,520 yuan ($8,553) a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

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

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