Copper Declines Before China’s Factory Output, Retail Sales Data

Aug 11, 2014 11:20 pm ET

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell for the second time in three days before July industrial production and retail sales data tomorrow from China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange retreated as much as 0.5 percent to $6,960 a ton and was at $6,972.50 at 11:36 a.m. in Tokyo. Prices were unchanged yesterday at $6,995. Copper has lost 5.2 percent this year, the only decliner of the six main metals on the LME.

China’s factory output probably rose 9.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the same pace as in June, while retail sales growth accelerated to 12.5 percent from 12.4 percent a month earlier, according to median estimates in separate Bloomberg News surveys.

“Metals fell ahead of the data releases tomorrow as some July figures could be weaker than expected,” said Xu Yongqi, an analyst at Guotai & Junan Futures Co. in Shanghai.

Copper stockpiles tracked by the LME are down 61 percent this year to 141,375 tons, the lowest since July 2008.

The metal was trading near the 50-day moving average of about $6,968 and a closing price below that level indicates further declines are possible, said Hwang Il Doo, a senior metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.

In New York, futures for September slid 0.4 percent to $3.161 a pound. Copper for delivery in October lost 0.7 percent to 49,560 yuan ($8,050) a ton in Shanghai.

On the LME, lead fell while nickel rose. Aluminum and zinc were little changed and tin hadn’t traded.

--With assistance from Alfred Cang in Shanghai.