Copper Drops for First Time in Three Days on U.S. Budget Impasse

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures fell for the first time in three days as U.S. lawmakers prepared for talks to avoid more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax gains that will start in January.

U.S. congressional leaders plan to meet with President Barack Obama today. The president is set to propose a scaled-back budget package at the meeting, a Democratic aide with knowledge of the talks said. House Republicans said they will convene on Dec. 30

“People are worried that politicians will miss the deadline, and there will be so much chaos and uncertainty,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Confidence is lacking in the market.”

Copper futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $3.5895 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices have climbed 4.5 percent in 2012. The metal gained 0.6 percent this week.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 0.4 percent to $7,887 a metric ton ($3.58 a pound).

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net