Copper Caps Longest Slump in Four Weeks on China Demand Concerns

May 30, 2014 4:34 pm ET

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures capped the longest slump in four weeks amid concern that demand will slow in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

Chinese home prices fell 0.3 percent in May from April, the first monthly drop since June 2012, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd., the nation’s biggest real estate website owner. Prices for copper, used in plumbing and wiring, rose 3.2 percent this month as exchange-monitored inventories declined.

“Metals have the look and feel of wanting to push higher, although slowing growth in China should keep overextended rallies somewhat in check,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York, said in an e-mailed report today.

Copper futures fell 0.7 percent to settle at $3.1235 a pound at 1:19 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices declined for a third straight day, the longest slide since May 1.

The metal ended the month higher after stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange plunged 27 percent in May, the biggest drop since 2005.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months retreated 0.6 percent to $6,845 a metric ton ($3.11 a pound). The price fell 1.2 percent this week, the most since mid-March.

Aluminum, lead, tin and zinc also dropped in London, while nickel rose.