Copper Heads for Sixth Weekly Drop as China Manufacturing Slows

Copper headed for a sixth weekly loss after data showed manufacturing contracted in China, the world’s biggest consumer.

The metal in London fell as much as 1.2 percent. The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 49.8 in January compared with 49.6 last month. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction. A similar measure for the U.S. on Friday will signal further expansion, according to a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.

“The PMI was still low even if it was a little bit better than the previous month,” said Tetsu Emori, a senior fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc. “The Chinese market is still slowing.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.6 percent to $5,633.50 a metric ton ($2.56 a pound). The metal fell 1.8 percent to $5,665 a ton on Thursday, the lowest since Jan. 15. It’s down 1.4 percent this week.

Nineteen of the 22 raw materials tracked by the Bloomberg Commodity Index settled lower on Jan. 22 after the European Central Bank said it will buy up to 60 billion euros ($68 billion) of assets a month through September 2016, driving the U.S. dollar higher and curbing the appeal of alternative investments such as commodities.

In New York, copper futures for March delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $2.55 a pound. The metal for the same month in Shanghai fell 1.3 percent to close at 41,010 yuan ($6,618) a ton.

Also on the LME, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin and nickel all fell.

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