Copper Falls Ahead of Fed Minutes, China Manufacturing Report

Copper futures fell for the second time in three days on mounting concern that the Federal Reserve will signal plans to scale back stimulus just as demand from Chinese manufacturing contracts.

The Fed will release minutes today of its July meeting, which may indicate when officials plan to taper monthly bond purchases aimed at stoking economic growth. The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index rose the most in a week. A Chinese factory gauge due tomorrow from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics will show a preliminary reading for August of 48.2, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said. Levels below 50 signal shrinkage.

“The Fed minutes add an extra level of risk that people don’t want to front-run,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There are also some jitters over emerging markets, and strength in the dollar isn’t supportive for copper.”

Copper futures for delivery in December declined 0.9 percent to settle at $3.3125 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are down 1.6 percent this week, on course to retreat the most since June after three straight gains.

The U.S. central bank will start to slow its $85 billion-a-month deb -buying in September, according to a Bloomberg survey.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months lost 1.1 percent to $7,240 a metric ton ($3.28 a pound)

Tin for delivery in three months on the LME dropped 1.1 percent to $21,750 a ton.

Aluminum, nickel, lead and zinc fell in London.

To contact the reporters 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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