Copper fell, trimming a third weekly advance, on speculation China may delay any easing after data showed inflation accelerated more than forecast in December.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $8,098.25 a metric ton, reversing gains of as much as 0.6 percent earlier. The metal is poised for a 0.2 percent advance this week.
Consumer prices in China gained 2.5 percent last month from a year ago, compared with the 2.3 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 42 analysts. Producer prices fell 1.9 percent, compared with the estimate of a 1.8 percent drop. The Shanghai Composite Index declined as much as 1.8 percent today to 2,242.23.
“The data actually indicate the macroeconomic picture is rather mixed” in China, said Peng Guoliang, an analyst at Dadi Futures Co. “The government will be very cautious in any policy relaxation, while a drop in producer price indicates industrial demand is still relatively weak.”
China’s yuan strengthened beyond 6.22 against the dollar for the first time in 19 years amid speculation the nation will tolerate appreciation to temper inflation. The country is the world’s biggest importer of copper. Metal for delivery in April fell 0.6 percent 58,450 yuan ($9,403) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
Copper for March delivery on the Comex in New York fell 0.6 percent to $3.6875 per pound. On the LME, aluminum rose for a fifth day, poised for the longest winning streak since September. Zinc, lead, nickel and tin also gained.