Copper Declines as China, Japan Data Add to Signs of Slowdown

Copper dropped for the first time in three days after China’s factory output shrank and Japan’s largest manufacturers said they were pessimistic amid the global economic slowdown that has sapped export demand.

Copper for delivery in three months lost as much as 0.6 percent to $8,155 a metric ton before trading at $8,170 on the London Metal Exchange at 4:02 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal rose 7.8 percent in September, gaining for a second month. December-delivery metal fell 0.8 percent to $3.7280 a pound on the Comex.

China’s manufacturing contracted a second month for the first time since 2009, a government survey indicated, increasing pressure for measures to reverse a deepening economic slowdown. Big Japanese manufacturers became more pessimistic in the July to September quarter as slowdowns in China and Europe sapped export demand, a report showed today.

“Data from China and Japan put downward pressure,” said Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Ltd. in Tokyo. Trading was relatively thin with Chinese buyers out this week for the National Day holiday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index was 49.8 in September after a 49.2 reading in August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. That compares with the median forecast of 50.1 in a Bloomberg News survey.

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan index of sentiment among large manufacturers fell in the quarter ended September to minus 3 from minus 1, the fourth consecutive negative reading, the central bank said today in Tokyo.

Copper will average $8,000 a ton next year and aluminum $2,000 a ton, while zinc is expected to average at $2,100, lead at $2,200, nickel at $18,500 and tin at $21,000 a ton, INTL FCStone Inc. said in a report today.

On the LME, aluminum, tin, zinc, nickel and lead declined.

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