Most Base Metals Decline as China Economic Growth Slows

Most industrial metals fell after data showed economic expansion in China eased to the slowest pace in six quarters, fueling concern that demand from the largest user will weaken.

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell for a second day, losing as much as 0.8 percent and was trading at $17,527 a metric ton by 10:28 a.m. in Hong Kong. The metal yesterday ended 11 days of gains, the longest rally since October 2010. Aluminum on the LME retreated as much as 0.6 percent and lead 0.3 percent.

Gross domestic product growth was 7.4 percent in the first quarter from 7.7 percent in the preceding three months, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The nation’s broadest measure of new credit declined in March from a year earlier, data showed yesterday.

The slowing economic growth pointed to softening demand for metals in China, said Helen Lau, a commodity analyst at UOB Kay Hian Ltd. in Hong Kong. “There’s no quick rebound from the first quarter,” she said.

Copper in London gained 0.3 percent to $6,558.25 a ton. In New York, the copper futures contract for July was little changed at $2.9845 a pound, while in Shanghai, metal for the same month lost 0.8 percent to 46,170 yuan ($7,420).

On the LME, zinc was little changed and tin hadn’t traded.

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