Copper Falls First Time in Four Days on Chinese Demand Concern

May 07, 2014 4:06 am ET

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Copper dropped for the first time in four days as property stocks declined in China, adding to concern that demand will slow from the biggest user of the industrial metal.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange retreated as much as 0.8 percent to $6,665 a metric ton and was at $6,670 by 4:19 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal has fallen 9.4 percent this year, the worst performer among the six main metals on the LME.

A gauge of property stocks in China fell for a sixth day as the China Securities Journal said some small and medium-sized property developers are facing liquidity problems. The country’s manufacturing contracted in April for a fourth month, according to a survey released May 5 by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics.

“China’s slowing growth and property market concerns dragged copper lower,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at Fujitomi Co, a commodities broker in Tokyo. Investors will watch Chinese trade data due tomorrow, he said.

Land sales in 20 major cities fell 5 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest drop in at least a year, according to China Real Estate Information Corp. data compiled by Bloomberg.

The contract for delivery in July on the Comex in New York lost 0.3 percent to $3.0465 a pound. In Shanghai, futures for delivery in August slid 0.6 percent to close at 46,910 yuan ($7,534) a ton.

Nickel in London added 0.3 percent to $18,608 a ton, gaining for a second day on concern that global supplies will be disrupted as tensions between Russia and Ukraine were escalating and Indonesia stopped ore exports. The price has gained 34 percent this year, the most among the six metals on the London exchange.

On the LME, aluminum, zinc and tin also dropped, while lead was little changed.