Copper Drops on Bets Demand Will Decline on European Woes

Copper futures fell for the first time in three sessions on concern that demand will slump in Europe as global supplies increase.

Euro-area services and manufacturing output shrank in April for a 15th straight month, a report from London-based Markit showed today. The European Commission said on May 3 that the region’s economy will contract more than estimated. Copper stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange are close to the highest since 2003.

“All the data we’re seeing suggests no rebound in Europe, as well as slowing in China and sub-par growth in the U.S.,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We’re still not seeing any inordinate demand for copper, and supplies are adequate.”

Copper futures for July delivery dropped 0.1 percent to settle at $3.3105 a pound at 1:10 p.m. on the Comex in New York. On May 3, the metal jumped 6.8 percent, the most in 18 months, after U.S. payrolls increased more than analysts forecast.

Money managers boosted wagers on falling prices to 23,368 futures and options in the week ended April 30 from 15,727 a week earlier, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on May 3. The net-short position declined in the previous three weeks.

The London Metal Exchange is closed today for a national holiday.