Copper retreated with zinc and aluminum, extending its biggest monthly loss in a year, as China’s manufacturing expanded at a weaker pace in April, curbing demand from the world’s biggest consumer.
Copper for delivery in three months declined as much as 1 percent to $6,988 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,009.50 at 2:53 p.m. in Singapore. Nickel, tin and lead also fell. Markets from China to India are shut for a holiday.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.6, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said. That compares with the 50.7 median forecast of 31 analysts in a Bloomberg survey and a March reading of 50.9. Copper slumped 6.4 percent in April on concern slowing economies from the U.S. to China will cut demand as supplies expand.
“China slowing is going to be bad because the rest of the world is already bad,” said David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “The price is reacting accordingly.”
China’s growth unexpectedly cooled in the first quarter to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in the final three months of 2012. Zinc lost 0.5 percent and aluminum declined 0.6 percent.