Copper Drops First Time This Week as China Demand Concerns Mount

  • Weak U.S. durable goods orders hurting metals: Commerzbank
  • Zinc, tin and lead also decline on the LME; aluminum rises

Copper fell for the first time this week in London on mounting demand concerns as China equities slid and UBS Group AG cut its growth forecast for the Asian nation, the world’s biggest metals buyer.

UBS lowered its estimate for 2016 economic growth to 6.2 percent from 6.5 percent, while Chinese stocks in Hong Kong dropped by the most in a month as investors weighed declining earnings. The slide comes a day after government figures showed orders dropped for durable goods in the U.S., the second-largest copper user.

“The weak performance of Asian stock markets -- Chinese indices in particular are noticeably down -– is weighing on metal prices,” Commerzbank AG analysts including Daniel Briesemann wrote in a report Wednesday. “In addition, the poorer figures for durable goods orders in the U.S. are clearly still having after-effects.”

Copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.3 percent to settle at $5,204 a metric ton ($2.36 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc, lead, and tin also declined on the LME, while aluminum and nickel gained.  

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for December delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to $2.3625 a pound.

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