Copper Falls as China Factory Slowdown Fuels Demand Woes

Copper futures fell on mounting concern that demand will ebb after a report showed manufacturing contracted for the fourth straight month in China, the world’s largest metal consumer.

A Chinese purchasing managers’ index was at 48.1 in April, compared with 48 in March and a preliminary reading of 48.3, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics data showed today. A gauge below 50 indicates contraction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 U.S. equities fell amid widening unrest in Ukraine.

“The weak Chinese manufacturing numbers, along with the spread of violence in Ukraine, are sending copper futures lower,” Suzanne Shaffer, a broker at Infinity Trading Corp. in Indianapolis, said in an e-mail. “The Ukraine violence is causing the equity markets to sell off, which is pressuring copper and other commodities.”

Copper futures for July delivery fell 0.5 percent to close at $3.0535 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price, down for the fourth time in five sessions, has declined 10 percent this year.

Trading was 63 percent less than 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The London Metal Exchange was closed for a holiday.

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