Copper declined for a third day as the partial government shutdown in the U.S. and standoff over the debt limit weakened the outlook for demand in the world’s second-biggest user.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $7,228 a metric ton at 10:01 a.m. in Shanghai and was headed for its lowest close since Oct. 3. The metal retreated 0.6 percent last week, the first such drop in three weeks.
President Barack Obama said the partial government shutdown and threat of default is hurting U.S. credibility around the world, undercutting work on a trade pact with Asia-Pacific nations and emboldening China in areas in which it disagrees with the U.S.
“The deadlock damps market sentiment and investors are disinclined to trade much now,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst with Shanghai CIFCO Futures Co. Fang said copper prices may rebound later this month as the shutdown is unsustainable and data from China may show improving demand.
Stockpiles tracked by the LME fell 1.2 percent yesterday to 517,100 tons, the lowest since March 11, daily exchange figures showed. Codelco, the world’s biggest copper miner, plans to invest an annual $4 billion to $5 billion in the next five years to increase output of the metal to 2 million tons by as early as 2015 and higher than that from 2017, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Keller said in an interview in London.
Futures for delivery in December were down 0.2 percent to $3.287 a pound on the Comex in New York. The January contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.7 percent to 52,100 yuan ($8,513) a ton.
On the LME, nickel dropped while zinc rose. Aluminum and lead were little changed.
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