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Copper Drops in London as Demand in China Seen Weakening

Copper declined in London for the fourth time this week as inventories expanded amid signs of lower demand for the metal as loan collateral in China, the world’s biggest user.

Stockpiles in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained for the third straight week to the highest since June 5. China’s imports of unwrought copper and copper products fell in June to the lowest since April 2013, data showed yesterday. Inbound shipments will weaken in July amid the Qingdao port probe into inventories used in financing, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said.

“Copper looks a bit toppy to us, and we would not be surprised to see a modest retrenchment heading into next week,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York, said in a note. Rising stockpiles “may be contributing to the weaker tone,” he said.

Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.1 percent to settle at $7,156 a metric ton ($3.25 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange.

Zinc rose in London, capping a fourth straight weekly advance that was the longest rally since mid-April. Stockpiles monitored by the LME fell to the lowest since December 2010.

Nickel, aluminum, lead and tin also gained in London.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery rose 0.1 percent to $3.269 a pound.

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