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Copper Falls Most in Week as U.S. Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop

Copper slumped the most in a week as new-home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell, tempering the demand outlook for the metal used in pipes and wiring.

Home sales dropped 7.3 percent to a 369,000 annual pace, below the 385,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the 398,000 rate in November that was the highest in more than two years, government figures showed today. Copper also fell after Anglo American Plc said it produced more of the metal last quarter.

“The report today is one more reason we’re seeing copper stall at the moment, and one more thing holding the market in check,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. Supply growth “is another factor giving the market pause,” he said.

Copper futures for delivery in March slid 0.7 percent to settle at $3.652 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss since Jan. 16.

Anglo American, a mining company with operations from Australia to Brazil, said copper production climbed 2 percent to 172,900 metric tons in the fourth quarter.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.8 percent to $8,030 a ton ($3.64 a pound).

Zinc, nickel, lead and aluminum were also lower in London. Tin advanced.

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