Copper declined for a second day as a deepening debt crisis in Europe and tumbling stock prices in China, the biggest user, raised concern that demand will slow.
Copper for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.4 percent to $7,577 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,595 at 2:54 p.m. in Shanghai. The metal, which hasn’t dropped over consecutive quarters since 2008, has lost 4.2 percent this year after a 3.3 percent fall in the three-month period to December.
Moody’s Investors Service affirmed junk debt ratings for Ireland and Portugal today and said the outlook for both was negative given the euro area’s “continued vulnerability to shocks.” Banks in Cyprus, which averted a default this week after an international bailout, will open their doors to customers today for the first time in almost two weeks.
“Investors are worried about whether the situations in Europe and China will worsen,” Li Peng, an analyst at Guotai Junan Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index sank as much as 3 percent today, the most in three weeks, as the Shanghai Property Index tumbled 3.5 percent after local media reported the southern city of Shenzhen is likely to raise the down payment for second home purchases and cities in central and western provinces may issue detailed property-curb policies next month.
Copper for July delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.4 percent to 55,320 yuan ($8,902) a ton, while the May contract on the Comex lost 0.3 percent to $3.4325 a pound.
On the LME, aluminum climbed after falling to the lowest levels since November yesterday, while nickel declined. Zinc, lead and tin were little changed.