Copper Drops Third Time in Four Days on Chinese Demand Concerns

Copper fell for the third time in four sessions as signs of an economic slowdown raised concern that demand will decline in China, the world’s top metals user.

Total Chinese exports slumped the most in more than a year in March, figures showed Monday. The World Bank cut its outlook for gross domestic product in the nation. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it’s bearish on copper because China’s demand will weaken, while Citigroup Inc. cut price forecasts for industrial metals

“The China data this morning was weaker-than-expected and there were downward revisions to GDP growth forecasts made by the World Bank, which weighed on sentiment,” Dee Perera, an analyst at Marex Spectron Group in London, said in a telephone interview.

Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.8 percent to settle at $5,990 a metric ton ($2.72 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. local time on the London Metal Exchange.

Prices climbed 9.9 percent in the previous two months. The rally isn’t sustainable because China’s economic stimulus won’t be enough to reverse a slump in the real-estate market, according to Goldman.

“We’re bearish,” Max Layton, a London-based Goldman analyst, said in an interview. There’s “significant downside risk for copper demand over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Also on the LME, lead, zinc, nickel and tin fell, while aluminum was unchanged.

In New York, copper futures for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $2.719 a pound on the Comex.

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