Copper headed for the first weekly decline since July after shares in China retreated and as economic data supported the case for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reduce stimulus as early as next month.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $7,322.50 a metric ton at 3:55 p.m. in Tokyo after swinging between a gain of 0.2 percent and a 0.6 percent drop. It’s down 1.1 percent this week.
Industrial metals followed the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SHCOMP) lower as the gauge slid as much as 1.8 percent. U.S. jobless claims over the past month dropped to the lowest since November 2007 and the Fed is likely to begin to reduce bond buying next month, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Aug. 9-13. China and the U.S. are the biggest metals consumers.
“Copper gave up its earlier gain after China’s stock market dropped in afternoon trading,” said Hwang Il Doo, a trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. Concern that the U.S. central bank will soon taper stimulus also put pressure on the market, he said.
Futures for delivery in December on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.1 percent to 52,690 yuan ($8,608) a ton. Metal for delivery in December was little changed at $3.337 a pound on the Comex in New York.
On the LME, aluminum, nickel, zinc, lead and tin all declined.
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