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Copper May Drop on Speculation About Weaker Euro, Survey Shows

Copper may fall on speculation that the euro will weaken further, bolstering the dollar, as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis threatens to crimp Germany’s economic rebound.

Eight of 15 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 53 percent, said the metal will decline next week. The rest predicted higher prices. Copper for delivery in three months was down 0.5 percent for this week at $6,448 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 4 p.m. yesterday.

The single European currency has slid 14 percent against its U.S. counterpart this year. A stronger dollar makes metals priced in the currency more expensive in terms of other monies. Budget-cutting measures aimed at stemming the spread of the crisis will hurt German growth next year, the Kiel-based Institute for the World Economy said yesterday.

“Copper should fall,” John Meyer, head of research at Fairfax IS in London, said in an e-mail. “We see the euro as weakening,” he said, citing this week’s announcement of a drop in the ZEW Center for European Economic Research’s index of expectations for German investors and analysts and “the potential for further crises in the European banking sector.”

The U.S. Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the greenback’s strength, has risen 10 percent this year, contributing to LME copper’s 13 percent drop along with concern about steps by China to restrain its economy. The German economy is Europe’s biggest.

The red bars on the attached chart are derived by subtracting bearish forecasts from bullish estimates, with readings below zero signaling the majority of respondents expect a decline. The green line shows the copper price. The survey data shown are as of June 11.

The weekly copper survey has forecast prices accurately in 45 of the past 91 weeks, or 49 percent of the time.

This week’s survey results: Bullish: 7 Bearish: 8

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