Copper fell for a third day, dropping to a one-week low after U.S. jobs data added to signs of slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest user amid increasing mine supplies.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange retreated as much as 0.6 percent to $6,577.50 a metric ton, the lowest intraday level since March 28, and was at $6,586.75 at 9:41 a.m. in Tokyo. The metal slid 0.8 percent last week, the first such drop in three weeks. Markets in China are closed today for a public holiday.
Payrolls in the U.S. missed estimates in March, rising 192,000 compared with the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey that had projected a 200,000 gain. Two Chinese manufacturing gauges released last week pointed to weakness in the economy, the world’s biggest user of metals.
“The U.S. payroll data fueled concern that demand will slow after disappointing Chinese economic data earlier last week,” said Tetsu Emori, a senior fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc. in Tokyo. “The weaker outlook for demand would damp market sentiment at a time when supplies are seen rising.”
World production of refined copper is expected to exceed demand by about 400,000 tons as consumption will lag behind the output growth, the International Copper Study Group said in a report last week.
The Comex contract for delivery in May slid 0.7 percent to $3.0025 a pound in New York.
On the LME, aluminum, lead, nickel and tin also dropped, while zinc rose.
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