Copper futures fell the most in two weeks as a jump in inventories added to signs of ample supplies.
Stockpiles in warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange climbed 1.4 percent, the biggest increase since March 6. Copper has dropped 3.4 percent this year as inventories almost doubled and concern mounted that demand would slow in China, the world’s biggest user. The Asian nation cut bank reserve requirements on Monday in a bid to boost economic growth.
“A huge jump in the inventories shows the market is not tight, and that’s pushing prices lower,” Tai Wong, the director of commodity products trading at BMO Capital Markets Corp. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Also, while today’s move by China is a positive step, people are hoping for more stimulus measures to boost demand.”
Copper futures for July delivery dropped 1.4 percent to settle at $2.73 a pound at 1:22 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since March 31.
Speculators cut their net-long positions in copper by 7.3 percent to 14,295 futures and options in the week ended April 14, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.
China’s economy expanded 7 percent last quarter, the slowest pace since 2009.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.3 percent to $5,980 a metric ton ($2.71 a pound). Zinc, tin, aluminum and lead declined, while nickel climbed.