Copper Caps Biggest Weekly Loss Since July Amid China Woes

  • China capital outflows hit a record, fueling demand concerns
  • Copper prices dropped 4.3% this week, most since late July

Copper futures capped the biggest weekly loss since July as signs of a deepening slowdown in China dimmed demand prospects in the Asian nation, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

China equities fell after capital outflows hit a record as concern grew the nation’s economy is worsening and the government is scaling back support for the stock market. Copper has lost 19 percent this year, on the way to a third straight annual decline, on the outlook for weaker growth in China.

“There’s been lackluster growth in China and the U.S., and the markets have been peeling back the level of risk,” Tim Evans, the chief market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve seen that reflected in metals. There’s been really nothing that’s been able to step in front of that and halt the selling pressure.”

Copper futures for delivery in December declined 0.8 percent to settle at $2.2835 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices fell 4.3 percent this week, the biggest loss since July 24.

On the London Metal Exchange, aluminum, copper, lead, tin and zinc also fell, while nickel advanced.

Glencore Plc, the miner and commodity trader run by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, lost 23 percent this week, the most on record. The Bloomberg World Mining Index of 81 companies slid 6.6 percent for the week.

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