Copper swung between gains and losses after producer prices in China extended their longest streak of declines in a decade while consumer inflation in the world’s biggest user of metals stayed subdued.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,834 a metric ton at 2:46 p.m. in Shanghai after trading between $6,781 and $6,870. Zinc, aluminum and tin dropped while lead and nickel climbed.
Factory-gate prices fell 2.7 percent in June from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed today, marking the worst run of declines since 2002. Data on July 1 showed two gauges of China’s manufacturing fell in June, underscoring a sustained slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy.
“The data affirmed traders’ views that the economy isn’t doing well,” Jia Zheng, an analyst at East Asia Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “But it didn’t give any further negative surprises, so copper is likely to drift at this level for a while.”
Copper for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 49,000 yuan ($7,995) a ton. Metal for delivery in September on the Comex was little changed at $3.10 a pound.