Copper Drops Most in Two Weeks as China Industrial Profits Fall

Copper futures dropped the most in almost two weeks after falling industrial profits highlighted concerns over stagnant demand in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

China’s economy is poised for its weakest expansion in a generation, and data released Sunday showed profits at industrial companies slipped further last month. Weaker growth in the nation is adding to concern that the world is oversupplied with metals, grains and energy. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns for 22 components, is heading for a sixth monthly decline.

“There are demand concerns from China, once again, continuing to weigh on copper prices,” David Meger, the director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “And most of this weakness is being done on the back of some slightly weaker commodity prices across the board.”

Copper futures for March delivery dropped 2.1 percent to settle at $2.079 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest retreat since Dec. 15. The metal has dropped more than 26 percent in 2015. The London Metal Exchange is closed for a U.K. public holiday and is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 29.

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