Copper Drops as Economic Concerns Mount, LME Stockpiles Rise

  • Inventories climb to highest since February at LME warehouses
  • Copper has been over-delivered to China this year: Citigroup

Copper dropped to the lowest in a week as global economic concerns mounted and stockpiles at warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange increased to the highest since February.

Copper inventories are up 18 percent in the past two days, bourse data show. Bond yields from Asia to Europe tumbled to record lows and the pound sank to its weakest in 31 years amid speculation that the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union will hamper growth worldwide.

“The jitters we saw coming our way yesterday from Europe are continuing today,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a note Wednesday. “Copper is taking the lead here,” and is “not helped by the fact that LME stocks rose by a whopping 23,600 tons overnight.”

Copper for delivery in three months prices fell 1.4 percent to settle at $4,750 a metric ton ($2.15 a pound) in London, after touching $4,713.50, the lowest since June 28. Aluminum and zinc also declined in London, while tin, lead and nickel advanced.

Weak manufacturing data from China has spurred speculation the country will start a fresh round of economic stimulus to boost growth.

“China has been absorbing massive amounts of copper so far this year, and it looks like it’s been over-delivered and some is coming back,” said David Wilson, a London-based analyst at Citigroup Inc.

In New York, copper futures for delivery in September fell 1.4 percent to $2.1535 a pound on the Comex.

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