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Copper Set for Fourth Weekly Decline on China Inventory Concerns

Copper fell for the first time in four days, heading for a fourth weekly drop, on concern that a pickup in China’s economy may fail to pare inventories.

Metal for delivery in three months declined as much as 0.7 percent to $7,770.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,779.50 at 2:17 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal is poised for a 0.5 percent loss this week.

Consumption in China, the world’s largest user, will rise 4.8 percent this year, lower than an August forecast of 5 percent, Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. said on Oct. 30. That would make it the slowest pace since 1997. Smelters face oversupply with stockpiles in bonded warehouses in Shanghai estimated at 600,000 tons to 700,000 tons, according to Richard Wilson, chairman of metals at Wood Mackenzie.

“There should be a bit of profit-taking after the gains in the last couple of days because there’s simply no sign that demand will rise strongly enough to absorb the huge inventories,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures Co. “We are not bullish on copper.”

Copper for delivery in December fell 0.6 percent to $3.5305 a pound on the Comex in New York. February futures dropped 0.8 percent to 56,680 yuan ($9,080) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

Aluminum, zinc, tin and lead also declined in London, while nickel climbed.

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