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Copper Trades Near One-Week High Before U.S. Debt Vote

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell in New York for the first time in four sessions on signs of ample supply and a cut in the International Monetary Fund’s global growth forecasts.

Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange, up 7.8 percent this year, rose 0.7 percent, daily exchange figures showed. LME copper inventories may double this year, Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the 3.6 percent forecast in October, the IMF said today. The euro area will shrink 0.2 percent, instead of growing 0.2 percent as the IMF had estimated.

“Inventories rose again on the LME,” Harry Denny, a broker at Hoboken, New Jersey-based PVM Future Inc., said in a telephone interview. “Rallies in copper have been capped by the idea that there’s plenty of supply around.”

Copper futures for delivery in March slid 0.6 percent to settle $3.6845 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Through yesterday, the metal gained 1.4 percent this month on signs of improving growth in the U.S. and China, the two biggest consumers of the metal.

Production at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s biggest copper mine, jumped 31 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, said BHP Billiton Ltd. Output of refined copper in China increased 22 percent from a year earlier in December to a record, figures from the country’s statistics bureau showed.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.4 percent to $8,103 a metric ton ($3.68 a pound).

Tin also fell in London, while lead, zinc and nickel advanced. Aluminum was little changed.

To contact the reporter on this story: 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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