Zinc Drops as Weakening Global Economy Heightens Demand Worries

Zinc declined for a fourth session, the longest streak in more than three months, as signs of slowing global growth amplified demand concerns.

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders dropped in February to a nine-month low as potential buyers stayed away, interrupting the steady progress residential real estate had built over the course of 2015. In Germany, investor confidence slipped to the lowest level since October 2014. On Tuesday, the Bloomberg Commodity Index, which measures returns for 22 components, fell 1 percent as crude oil declined for the seventh time in eight sessions.

“Predominantly, it’s the economic stories that are driving zinc,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The fact that oil is dropping is moving commodities lower as well.”

Zinc for delivery in three months slipped 1.5 percent to settle at $1,660 a metric ton at 5:56 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after touching $1,657, the lowest since Feb. 9.

  • Copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.1 percent to $4,557 a ton ($2.07 a pound). On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $2.0565 a pound. Markets were shut for a public holiday in New York on Monday, when copper in London rose 1.4 percent.
  • Aluminum, nickel and tin advanced Tuesday on the LME, while lead fell.
  • A gauge of 18 large global producers of base metals tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence gained for a third session.
  • Anglo American Plc rose 1.2 percent, recovering from a loss of as much as 8.4 percent earlier. The company, which reported that losses widened in 2015, said it’s speeding up plans to pull out of coal and iron ore and wants to raise $4 billion from selling mines.
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