Copper Declines Most in Three Weeks as Industrial Metals Retreat

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Copper futures fell the most in more than three weeks as industrial metals declined on concern that demand will slow in China and the U.S., the world’s top users.

Chinese new-home prices dropped in 69 out of 70 cities in April from a year earlier, while confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly declined in May, data showed Monday. Building construction accounts for about 30 percent of copper demand, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. An index of six industrial metals slumped to the lowest this month.

“There are serious concerns about demand from the two largest economies,” George Gero, a strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a telephone interview. “We need to see more actions by the Chinese government to boost demand.”

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for July delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $2.9065 a pound at 1:28 p.m., the biggest decline for a most-active contract since April 22.

Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.5 percent to settle at $6,380 a metric ton ($2.90 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange. Aluminum, lead, nickel, zinc declined, while tin advanced.

The LME gauge of the six metals has dropped 7.3 percent in the past 12 months.

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