Most base metals declined after data showed that the pace of economic growth in China, the biggest user, slowed in the second quarter.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.6 percent to $6,909.75 a metric ton, before trading at $6,938.25 at 2:02 p.m. in Shanghai. The price earlier rose as much as 0.5 percent as some investors focused the data meeting estimates while others weighed the impact of the slowdown.
China’s gross domestic product grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey, while slowing from 7.7 percent in the first quarter. Industrial production rose 8.9 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with the 9.1 percent median forecast and a 9.2 percent gain in May.
“The numbers affirmed the observation that growth in China is slowing,” said Jia Zheng, an analyst at East Asia Futures Co. in Shanghai. “It’s not bad enough to trigger speculation of policy reaction, or to give any upside surprises.”
Aluminum dropped 0.5 percent to $1,834 a ton, while nickel, lead and zinc also declined. Tin was little changed.
Copper for delivery in September on the Comex fell 0.4 percent to $3.1415 a pound. Net-short positions, or wagers on falling Comex prices, held by funds fell to 26,284 futures and options as of July 9 from 26,963 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The metal for delivery in November on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.4 percent to 49,880 yuan ($8,128) a ton.