Copper swung between gains and losses after producer prices in China, the world’s biggest user of metals, extended their longest streak of declines in a decade while consumer inflation stayed subdued.
Metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,829.50 a metric ton at 11:59 a.m. in Shanghai after trading between $6,781 and $6,858. Zinc, tin and aluminum dropped while lead and nickel were little changed.
Factory-gate prices fell 2.7 percent in June from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed today. This compared with a median estimate of a loss of 2.6 percent in a Bloomberg News survey and also marked the worst run since 2002. Data on July 1 showed two gauges of China’s manufacturing fell in June, underscoring a sustained slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy.
“The data affirmed traders’ views that the economy isn’t doing well,” Jia Zheng, an analyst at East Asia Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “But it didn’t give any further negative surprises, so copper is likely to drift at this level for a while.”
Copper for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.8 percent to 49,020 yuan ($7,995) a ton. Metal for delivery in September on the Comex was little changed at $3.098 a pound.
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