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Copper Falls for a Fourth Day in New York on U.S. Budget

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Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures fell for a fourth day in New York, capping the longest string of declines since October, as signs that U.S. budget talks are faltering dimmed prospects for economic growth and metals demand.

The White House is rejecting House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B,” and warned business leaders yesterday that talks to avert more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to start in January are regressing. The index of U.S. leading indicators fell in November, pointing to a slowdown in the economy early next year as companies curb investment and global growth cools.

“We’re still not seeing much movement toward a resolution in the budget talks, and that’s working to keep metals prices lower,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Copper futures for March delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $3.536 a pound at 1:11 p.m. on the Comex in New York after touching $3.523 a pound, the lowest since Nov. 28. The metal hasn’t fallen for four straight sessions since Oct. 29. Prices are up 2.9 percent this year.

Comex copper fell below its 100-day and 200-day moving averages, a bearish signal to analysts who study historical price patterns.

Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange expanded for an 11th session to 311,925 metric tons, the longest rising streak since January 2011.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months slumped 2 percent to $7,770 a ton ($3.52 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also fell in London.

To contact the reporters on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net; Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

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

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