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Copper Declines to Three-Week Low on U.S. Budget Impasse

Copper declined to the lowest level in three weeks amid concerns that budget negotiations deteriorated in the U.S. Zinc, lead, nickel and tin also fell.

Metal for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.8 percent to $7,863 a metric ton, the lowest since Nov. 29, before trading at $7,868.25 on the London Metal Exchange at 1:58 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper has climbed 3.5 percent this year. The contract for March delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.5 percent to 56,770 yuan ($9,111) a ton.

House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” would put “too big a burden on the middle class” and President Barack Obama would veto it, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said. House Republican leaders are considering giving members a chance to vote on spending cuts to firm up support for Boehner’s tax measure, said a Republican lawmaker and a congressional aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“U.S. fiscal concerns are affecting market sentiment when the fundamental picture remains lackluster,” said Li Peng, an analyst at Guotai Junan Futures Co.

LME stockpiles expanded for a 10th session to 304,900 tons yesterday, the longest rising streak since May 2011. Copper for immediate delivery traded at a discount of $28.50 a ton to the contract for delivery in three months. The so-called contango was $28.75 on Dec. 18, the widest since July 2010.

March futures on the Comex in New York dropped 0.6 percent to $3.5855 a pound.

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