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Copper Falls to Five-Week Low on Concern Chinese Demand to Slow

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell to a five-week low after weaker-than-estimated economic figures increased concern that demand will slow in China, the world’s top metals user.

China’s trade, inflation and lending data for May all trailed estimates, while industrial production expanded less than expected, figures over the weekend showed. Copper also slid as the dollar rose as much as 0.5 percent against a basket of six currencies, reducing the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment.

“The Chinese numbers were somewhat weak, and so you would expect copper to come under pressure,” Brian Booth, a senior market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The stronger dollar will continue to weigh on prices today.”

Copper futures for delivery in July fell 0.8 percent to settle at $3.241 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York after dropping to $3.202, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 3. The metal slipped 0.7 percent last week.

Imports of unwrought copper and copper products into China fell to 358,672 metric tons in May from 419,741 tons a year earlier, customs figures showed June 8.

Orders to remove the metal from warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange slid 0.9 percent to 221,000 tons.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.9 percent to $7,162 a ton ($3.25 a pound).

Aluminum, lead, nickel, tin and zinc were also lower in London.

Chinese financial markets are closed through June 12 for a national holiday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net; Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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