Copper Set for Worst Quarter Since 2011 on China Concerns

Copper and the London Metal Exchange Index of six primary metals headed for the biggest quarterly declines since September 2011 amid signs that economic growth is slowing in China.

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME dropped as much as 1.3 percent to $6,660.50 a metric ton and was at $6,728.50 by 1:58 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper fell 11 percent this quarter while the index dropped 9.9 percent. The index touched 2,911 on June 24, the lowest since June 2010.

Economists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to China International Capital Corp. this week cut their China growth forecasts for this year. The country’s central bank on June 25 called on big banks to further their roles as market stabilizers, as signs of the biggest squeeze on credit in at least a decade pushed interbank borrowing costs to a record last week. China accounts for more than 40 percent of world copper consumption.

“What concerns the market most is China’s macro conditions,” Liang Lijuan, an analyst at Cofco Futures Co., said by phone from Beijing. “Copper has further downside.”

Metal for delivery in September on the Comex fell 0.4 percent to $3.0485 a pound. Copper for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.7 percent to 48,440 yuan ($7,882) a ton.

On the LME, lead and zinc declined, while aluminum climbed.

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