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Copper Falls as Growth Misses Targets in Most Chinese Provinces

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July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell to the lowest price in almost three weeks after economic growth missed targets in most provinces in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

Seventeen of 30 provinces and provincial-level cities said first-half expansions trailed goals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The figures highlighted the possibility China will miss its annual growth target of 7.5 percent. Copper has slumped 17 percent this year amid concern that China’s slowing economy will reduce metals consumption.

“China demand concerns are consistently undermining the price of copper,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The market is at the mercy of dynamics in China right now, and overall there are just too many bearish influences.”

Copper futures for delivery in September slumped 2.1 percent to settle at $3.042 a pound at 1:05 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price touched $3.0365, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 10.

Concern that the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus is also weighing on copper, Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. The central bank has said that any decision to pare bond purchases aimed at stoking growth in the U.S. will depend on the performance of the economy. Fed policy makers start a two-day meeting today.

U.S. home prices rose in May by the most in more than seven years, a private report showed today.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 2.1 percent to $6,735 a metric ton ($3.05 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin also dropped in London.

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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