Copper futures fell from a three-week high on concern that trade data this week in China, the world’s top user of industrial metals, will add to evidence that the country’s economy is slowing.
Chinese imports probably climbed 13 percent in April after increasing 14.1 percent in March, based on the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before tomorrow’s data. Exports increased 9.2 percent, the slowest in five months, the survey showed. Copper buyers are looking for more signs of a recovery after a rise in U.S. payrolls boosted the price by the most in 18 months on May 3, said Brian Booth at Long Leaf Trading Group.
“We saw a good jump in prices last week, but since then, there’s been nothing to reinforce the moves, and the market is waiting to see that,” Booth, a senior market strategist, said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “Copper is backing off a bit until then.”
Copper futures for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $3.3025 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $3.3475, the highest for a most-active contract since April 15. On May 3, the metal jumped 6.8 percent. The commodity has dropped 9.6 percent this year.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 0.1 percent to $7,265 a metric ton ($3.30 a pound). Lead, nickel, tin and zinc also declined, while aluminum was unchanged.
The LME was closed yesterday for a public holiday.