Copper Declines as Factory Orders Unexpectedly Slump in Germany

May 07, 2014 6:14 pm ET

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Copper prices fell for the first time in four sessions in London after factory orders unexpectedly dropped in Germany, the world’s third-biggest user.

Adjusted bookings declined 2.8 percent in March from February, German government data showed. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 0.3 percent. Copper also fell after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its forecast for global economic growth this year as expansion in China and emerging markets slow.

“The German number definitely had an effect on copper,” Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in an e-mail. Signs of slowing growth in China, the largest user, added to bearish sentiment, he said.

Copper for delivery in three months fell 1 percent to settle at $6,655 a metric ton ($3.02 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The price gained 1.2 percent in the previous three sessions.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for July delivery fell 0.8 percent to $3.0325 a pound. The metal has dropped 11 percent this year. The U.S. is the second-biggest user.

A services purchasing managers’ index in China decreased to 51.4 in April from 51.9 a month earlier, signaling disinflationary pressures, Hongbin Qu, an economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, said today in a statement.

Orders to remove copper from warehouses tracked by the LME dropped 7.7 percent to 102,750 tons, the biggest decline since May 2013.

Nickel rose 0.5 percent to $18,650 a ton on the LME, the highest settlement since Feb. 5, 2013. Inventories contracted for a sixth time in seven sessions.

Bets on a rally account for 54 percent of open interest, “one of the most extreme readings in the last 20 years,” according to Marex Spectron Group. The price has increased 34 percent this year.

Aluminum, lead, zinc and tin declined in London.