Copper Leads Metals Lower Amid Signs of European Slowdown

Copper trimmed its first weekly gain since August amid worry that European economies are slowing down and Germany is heading for recession.

Copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped as much as 1.2 percent, leading industrial metals lower. There are signs the euro area’s economic recovery is losing momentum, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said yesterday. Exports from Germany, the third-largest metals consumer, slumped the most since January 2009, data showed yesterday, while a report by four economic institutes warned the nation’s economy is on the edge of recession.

The red metal has risen 0.2 percent this week as the U.S. dollar is poised for a 1.1 percent decline, the biggest weekly slide since August. A falling dollar enhances the appeal of metals priced in the greenback as alternative investments.

“The biggest economy in Europe is going down,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets. “When you see the weakness, it reinforces that pessimism.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME was down 1 percent at $6,654.25 a metric ton at 3:34 p.m. in Hong Kong. In New York, the December contract dropped 0.6 percent to $3.0105 a pound, while in Shanghai metal for the same month fell 1.1 percent to close at 47,240 yuan ($7,705) a ton.

On the LME, aluminum, nickel, zinc, lead and tin fell.

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