Copper falls most in two weeks

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London - Copper fell the most in two weeks in New York after a gauge of Chinese service industries reached a four-month low, fanning concern about the demand outlook in the biggest global consumer of the metal.

A services gauge from China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation dropped to 54.6 in December, after separate data released this week indicated manufacturing expanded at a slower pace.

Data next week will show Chinese export growth weakened in December, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said.

Tin traded at the lowest price in four months in London.

“The lower-than-expected China non-manufacturing PMI figure has got metals lower,” Richard Fu, director for Asian commodity trading at Newedge Group SA in London, said by e-mail.

“The metals market is still a bit jittery, as most people are still not sure of the macroeconomic trend for 2014.”

Copper for delivery in March lost 0.9 percent to $3.351 a pound by 7:34 a.m. on the Comex in New York after retreating as much as 1 percent, the most since December 19.

Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.9 percent to $7,324 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

Metals declined today after crude oil slid the most in almost 14 months in New York trading yesterday.

The dollar climbed for three sessions through yesterday against a 10-currency basket, making raw materials priced in greenbacks more expensive in terms of other monies.

“Energy sources were hit hard, and maybe base metals are following the way of oil prices today,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said by e-mail.

“The dollar is also playing its role, at least to some extent.”

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME, at the lowest since last January, fell for a 42nd session to 359,075 tons, daily data showed.

Inventories tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange reached 125,654 tons this week, the lowest in almost a year, according to data on the bourse’s website.

Orders to remove copper from LME warehouses dropped the most since August to 235,100 tons.

Tin fell as much as 3.5 percent in London to $21,300 a ton, the lowest price since September 3.

Zinc, lead, nickel and aluminum dropped. - Bloomberg News


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