Copper dropped, paring the first quarterly gain in a year, on slowing demand in China before next week’s holidays and on concern that U.S. budget negotiations are stalling.
The metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.4 percent to $7,169.50 a metric ton and traded at $7,183.50 by 11:00 a.m. in Tokyo. Copper increased 1.2 percent this month and added 6.4 percent this quarter.
Markets in China are closed from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 for National Day holidays. Congress is yet to pass a U.S. budget as lawmakers tussle over whether to use it to stop funding the 2010 health-care overhaul known as Obamacare. The lack of an agreement may spur a government shutdown.
“The market remained subdued before next week’s Chinese holidays amid concern on the U.S. budget talks,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, the general manager of research at Nihon Unicom Inc. in Tokyo. Copper will trade in a narrow range over the next week, he said.
Futures for delivery in December dropped 0.1 percent to $3.268 a pound on the Comex in New York. Metal for delivery in December on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2 percent to 51,850 yuan ($8,470) a ton.
On the LME, tin and lead also slid, while aluminum, nickel and zinc were little changed.
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