Copper fluctuated before the release of China’s industrial production and gross domestic output data. Nickel headed for its first decline in seven days.
The copper contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $7,324 a metric ton at 10:32 a.m. in Tokyo after trading between $7,323 and $7,347. The metal rose 0.5 percent last week, the first weekly gain in three.
Growth in China, the world’s top consumer of industrial metals, was probably 7.7 percent in 2013, unchanged from the previous year, when expansion slowed to the least since 1999, a Bloomberg survey of economists shows. Factory output is projected to have held at the same level last year while retail sales probably rose.
“Today’s focus is on China’s data for GDP and industrial output that will set the direction with the U.S. markets off for Martin Luther King Day,” said Kaname Gokon, deputy manager of research at Okato Shoji Co. in Tokyo.
The metal for delivery in April was unchanged at 51,810 yuan ($8,562) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Copper for delivery in March was little changed at $3.3475 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Nickel lost 1.2 percent to $14,518 a ton after gaining 6 percent last week, the most since the period through Feb. 1, after Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of the mined metal, banned unprocessed ore exports.
On the LME, aluminum, lead and zinc were little changed, while tin hadn’t traded.
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