Copper Pares Third Weekly Advance on China Demand Concern

Copper declined to pare a third weekly advance amid speculation that China will not take immediate steps to stimulate the economy, curbing demand in the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.

Copper for delivery in three months lost as much as 1.1 percent to $7,275.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $7,342 as of 12:42 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal is heading for a 1 percent advance this week for a third weekly gain.

China can’t be “blindly optimistic” about its inflation outlook at a time when uncertainties remain in areas such as property and farm produce prices, the People’s Bank of China said in its quarterly monetary policy report yesterday. The comments signaled the central bank is reluctant to loosen monetary policy even as the drop of producer prices in April exceeded that in March and analysts’ estimate.

“Concerns over China’s demand persist, weighing on copper prices,” said Wang Jingjing, an analyst at Founder Futures Co. “However, looking at the physical market, we do see a bit of improvement, which is also evidenced by inventory drawdown, so we might see further gains.”

Metal for delivery in September gained 0.2 percent to 53,080 yuan ($8,644) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, while the futures for July delivery on the Comex in New York declined 0.3 percent to $3.332 per pound.

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