Copper Declines With Base Metals on China Data; Tin Tumbles

Jan 03, 2014 3:20 am ET

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell by the most in two weeks as base metals dropped after a gauge of China’s services industry fell, stoking concern that demand will weaken in the biggest user. Tin slipped to an almost four-month low.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange retreated as much as 1.1 percent, the steepest loss since Dec. 19, to $7,312 a metric ton and traded at $7,321.75 by 3:50 p.m. in Shanghai. The metal is down 0.8 percent this week after rising 2 percent the previous period.

China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to the lowest since August, after two gauges of December factory output in the world’s second-biggest economy declined. Copper fell 7.2 percent last year, tumbling into a bear market in April, on concerns that global supply would exceed demand amid a slowdown in China. Barclays Plc has forecast a surplus of 127,000 tons for 2014.

“Some recent Chinese economic indicators weakened market sentiment and demand outlook,” said Lian Zheng, an analyst at Xinhu Futures Co. in Shanghai. “Prices are facing resistance around $7,450 after the rally last month.”

Copper in London rose 4.3 percent in December. In technical analysis, resistance indicates an upper price level where sell orders may be clustered.

The contract for delivery in March on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 1.4 percent lower at 51,920 yuan ($8,580) a ton. Futures for delivery in March dropped 0.7 percent to $3.357 a pound on the Comex in New York.

On the LME, tin fell as much as 2.6 percent to $21,497 a ton, the lowest price since Sept. 4. Zinc, lead and nickel declined at least 1 percent, while aluminum dropped 0.7 percent.

--Alfred Cang. Editors: Sungwoo Park, Ovais Subhani