Copper fell to the lowest since March as concerns over demand in China spurred investors to turn bearish on the metal.
Money managers held a net-short position in copper of 4,135 futures and options as of June 9, U.S. government figures published late on Friday show. That’s the first negative outlook since February. Prices fell for four straight weeks on concern that officials haven’t provided enough stimulus to revive the economy in China, the world’s top metals consumer.
“Important to copper is the lack of demand in China,” Eric Zuccarelli, an independent trader in New York, said in a telephone interview. “There had been hopes at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter that the stimulus package would take effect, but we haven’t seen good economic data out of China as we come to the summer slowdown.”
Copper futures for September delivery fell 1.2 percent to settle at $2.65 a pound at 1:30 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after reaching $2.6275, the lowest since March 19.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 1.6 percent to $5,815 a metric ton ($2.64 a pound).
A widening contango for copper, a market structure in which prices for long-term delivery are more expensive than short-term ones, is signaling ample supplies. The metal for immediate delivery closed at a discount of $31 a ton to the three-month contract, the widest gap since October 2013.
Zinc, nickel, lead and aluminum also declined on the LME, while tin rose.