Metals News
Copper Futures Fall on Speculation China Demand May Decline
industry news
Mar 9,2010

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Copper prices fell on speculation that demand will stagnate in China, the world's biggest metals user.

A global recovery "isn't solid" and the Asian country should be "very cautious" in exiting stimulus policies, Chinese central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on March 6. Copper prices more than doubled in 2009 as shipments to the world's fastest-growing major economy climbed to a record.

"China may not be the commodity-price driver it was last year," Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global Ltd. in Darien, Connecticut, said today in a report. "The fundamentals for metals remain uninspiring."

Copper futures for May delivery dropped 0.7 cent, or 0.2 percent, to $3.4105 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex unit.

The metal fluctuated earlier between gains and losses, tracking movements in the dollar and U.S. equities markets, said Donald Selkin, the chief market strategist at National Securities Corp. in New York.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of six currencies at 2 p.m. New York time. Earlier, it lost as much as 0.4 percent. Some traders buy commodities as the greenback weakens to preserve purchasing power.

"Copper is tracking the dollar," Selkin said. "Without a big move lower in the currency or a rally in the equities, prices will have trouble breaking $3.50" a pound, he said.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for three-month delivery fell 1 percent to $7,470 a metric ton ($3.40 a pound).

Aluminum, lead and zinc prices rose. Nickel and tin fell.

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