SINGAPORE, Oct. 29 -- Copper fell the most in a month in Shanghai, tracking an overnight drop in London and New York, on signs U.S. construction demand may be slowing.
Copper and zinc are trading near their lowest in a week after a report yesterday showed U.S. new home sales unexpectedly fell 3.6 percent in September. Builders are the biggest copper users in the U.S., where government tax credits for first-time home buyers will end next month. The U.S. is the second-largest consumer of the metal after China.
"We're seeing risk being pulled from all markets, not just metals," said Lu Wei, an analyst at Jiangsu Holly Futures Brokerage Co. "The next few pieces of economic data, as well as the dollar, will determine the mood and direction of the metals market."
January-delivery copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 2.5 percent to 50,000 yuan ($7,321) a metric ton, the biggest intraday drop since Sept. 28 and the lowest price for a most-active contact since Oct. 21. Zinc futures lost as much as 2.9 percent, the most since Sept. 14, and last traded down 2.6 percent at 16,550 yuan a ton.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange dropped as much as 2.4 percent yesterday, the largest intraday decline in two weeks, and last traded unchanged at $6,430 a ton.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six trading partners including the euro and yen, was barely changed today after rising the past five days. Some investors buy metals and other commodities as a hedge against a declining U.S. currency.
Among other LME-traded metals, aluminum fell 0.4 percent to $1,905 a ton and tin slipped 0.3 percent to $14,601 a ton. Zinc rose 0.2 percent to $2,195 a ton, lead climbed 0.7 percent to $2,245 a ton and nickel gained 0.6 percent at $17,900 a ton.