Copper Futures Fall as China Port Probe Fuels Demand Concerns

Jun 11, 2014 3:33 pm ET

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Copper declined for the sixth time in seven sessions in New York as a Chinese probe into financing transactions eroded demand prospects for deals using the metal as collateral.

Officials are looking at whether metals stockpiled at Qingdao Port fell short of obligations used to secure loans, and are focusing on Decheng Mining, said two bankers assisting the inquiry. Analysts at Barclays Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the probe may curb copper inventory financing, a source of demand. Prices also fell after the World Bank cut its estimate for 2014 global economic growth.

“The investigation, coupled with lower forecast from the World Bank, is working against copper,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We will see copper prices remain subdued.”

Copper futures for delivery in July slipped 0.4 percent to settle at $3.0405 a pound at 1:14 p.m. on th Comex in New York. Prices have slumped 11 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to $6,690 a metric ton ($3.03 a pound).

Aluminum, tin, zinc, nickel and lead fell in London.