Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Copper declined for the first time in seven days as manufacturing data for China missed estimates and before a two-day Federal Reserve meeting amid bets that the U.S. central bank will cut stimulus.
Metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.3 percent to $7,230 a metric ton and traded at $7,252 at 4:05 p.m. in Tokyo. The price touched $7,265.25 on Dec. 13, the highest since Nov. 1. The contract rose 1.9 percent last week, and is down 8.6 percent this year.
The preliminary reading of 50.5 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with a final figure of 50.8 in November, exceeding the 50.9 median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A number above 50 indicates expansion. The Fed may start reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases at this week’s meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed Dec. 6 by Bloomberg, up from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 poll. The bank meets tomorrow.
“Investors were focusing on tomorrow’s Fed policy meeting,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. “Manufacturing data from China and declining LME stockpiles would lend support to copper.”
Stockpiles available for delivery in warehouses monitored by the LME fell to a five-year low of 130,875 tons on Dec. 13.
Copper for delivery in February on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.5 percent to close at 51,410 yuan ($8,466) a ton. Futures for delivery in March were little changed at $3.3125 a pound on the Comex in New York.
On the LME, nickel also dropped, while aluminum and zinc were little changed. Tin and lead rose.
--Editors: Sungwoo Park, Jarrett Banks