Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures fell as concerns mounted that a U.S. budget impasse will damp prospects for the economy and metal demand.
Lawmakers said they were losing confidence that Congress and President Barack Obama can reach a deal within a week to avoid more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that may trigger a recession. Last week, copper dropped 3.1 percent, the most in six months.
“Investors are very nervous about this entire issue,” Bart Melek, the Toronto-based head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said in a telephone interview. “The deadline is approaching, and there seems to be no resolution in sight.”
Copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to settle at $3.546 a pound at 12:19 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has gained 3.2 percent this year.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.3 percent to $7,810 a metric ton ($3.54 a pound).
Stockpiles monitored by the LME rose for the 13th straight session, the longest advance since January 2011.
Aluminum, nickel and zinc fell, while lead and tin rose in London.
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