Copper Futures Decline as Optimism Over China Rate Cut Wanes

Copper declined for a fifth time in six sessions as traders shifted from optimism over a rate cut in China to focusing on the nation’s lackluster demand for metals.

While metal markets rose during Asian trading hours and global equities rallied after China delivered fresh stimulus with a lending-rate reduction, enthusiasm among copper traders began to wear off as the cut stoked concern over how poorly the nation’s economy is performing. The Asian country accounts for almost half of global demand for the metal.

“Everyone ponders what that cut means and it is signaling everything is worse in China,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “If there’s demand worries from China, that certainly impacts copper.”

On the Comex , copper futures for December delivery dropped 1.4 percent to settle at $2.35 a pound at 1:20 p.m. in New York, after rising as much as 1.4 percent. Prices capped a second straight weekly decline.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper, lead and tin fell, while aluminum, zinc and nickel gained.

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