Copper Drops as Slower U.S. Growth May Limit Metal Demand

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Copper prices fell the most in two weeks on speculation that a slowdown in U.S. economic expansion will limit demand.

Growth slowed to a 2.4 percent annual rate, from a revised 3.7 percent in the previous three months, the Commerce Department said today. That compares with a forecast of 2.6 percent, the median of 81 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Before today, copper gained 12 percent in July on speculation that the global recovery would be resilient.

“We had a pretty lackluster GDP report,” said Frank McGhee, the head metals dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services in Chicago, referring to the gross domestic product. “Copper prices could continue to come down.”

Copper futures for September delivery fell 1.85 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.2715 a pound at 9:20 a.m. on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would be the biggest loss for a most-active contract since July 16.

The metal for delivery in three months dropped 0.1 percent to $7,225 a metric ton ($3.28 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange.

Aluminum, tin and lead prices gained. Nickel and zinc fell.

To contact the reporter on the story: Millie Munshi in New York at mmunshi@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net