Copper Falls in London as Concerns Mount on China Metals Demand

Copper fell for the third time in four sessions as a gain in manufacturing failed to quell concern that an economic slowdown will deepen in China, the world’s largest metals consumer.

While a preliminary purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics pointed to expansion at Chinese factories in February, a gauge for new export orders in the report dropped to the lowest since June 2013.

“The sentiment is still pretty bad out of China,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “Even though the PMI was a little better, we’re still hoping and waiting for more aggressive stimulus measures from the policy makers.”

Copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.2 percent to settle at $5,775 a metric ton ($2.62 a pound) at 5:52 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The price has lost 8.3 percent this year.

The index from HSBC and Markit Economics rose to 50.1 in February, above the median estimate of 49.5 in a Bloomberg survey and higher than the 50 threshold that indicates expansion.

In New York, copper futures for May delivery gained 0.2 percent to $2.6435 a pound on the Comex.

Aluminum, zinc and lead declined in London, while nickel and tin gained.

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