Copper in London fell for a seventh week, the longest streak since January, and other metals declined as a measure of Chinese manufacturing fell to the lowest in more than six years.
The factory gauge is the first major indicator for August and follows weaker-than-expected data on investment, industrial output, retail sales and exports in July. Copper is heading for a fourth straight monthly loss amid concern that demand will weakening in China, which accounts for about 40 percent of global use.
“The news out of China is not getting better, and it’s sending shockwaves through markets,” Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, said by telephone. “There are fears of depressed demand widening metal-market surpluses or erasing deficits, and therefore prices staying lower for longer.”
Copper for delivery in three months fell 1.3 percent to settle at $5,055 a metric ton ($2.29 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Prices dropped 2.1 percent this week. Nickel, zinc, aluminum, tin and lead also fell on the LME.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for December delivery lost 0.8 percent to $2.2985 a pound.
Thirteen of 20 traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week were bearish on copper.
“Chinese demand is continuing to be poor,” Peter Thomas, a senior vice president for metals at Zaner Group LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “A lack of current commitment by buyers in copper continues to drive the price down.”