Copper is set for the biggest five-day loss in eight weeks, before the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data and start of a China Communist Party meeting.
The contract for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.2 percent to $7,133 a metric ton and was at $7,137 at 4:26 p.m. in Shanghai. The metal fell 1.5 percent this week, the biggest decline since the five days through Sept. 13.
Economists predict data today may show payrolls climbed by 120,000 in October and the unemployment rate increased to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in the previous month, according to a Bloomberg survey. Chinese Communist Party leaders will meet for four days starting Nov. 9 to discuss policies.
“Fed tapering is a risk to copper prices while support from further reforms in China remains uncertain,” said Fang Junfeng, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures Co.
Unwrought copper and copper products imports by China were 406,708 tons last month, the customs agency said today. That compared with 457,847 tons in September and 321,879 tons a year ago, according to customs data.
Futures for delivery in December declined 0.2 percent to $3.2425 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal for delivery in January on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed unchanged at 51,490 yuan ($8,451) a ton.
On the LME, tin rose, zinc was little changed, while lead, aluminum and nickel fell.
— With assistance by Alfred Cang