June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Copper erased early gains in Asia, heading for a weekly decline, after economic reports raised concerns that the U.S. economic recovery is not as strong as expected. Zinc, nickel and lead dropped.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded little changed at $6,451.75 a metric ton at 10:21 a.m. in Singapore, down 0.4 percent this week, after adding as much as 0.6 percent earlier. Futures in Shanghai dropped for the first time in five days, losing as much as 0.9 percent to 51,220 yuan ($7,500) a ton, before trading at 51,430 yuan a ton.
"The global economic recovery is being called into question," Guo Weijun, an analyst at First Futures Brokerage Co., said from Guangzhou today. "There is further room to fall as prices are weighed down by the ongoing debt crisis in Europe and the slow seasonal demand period."
Manufacturing in the region covered by the Philadelphia Fed expanded in June at the slowest pace since August and initial jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 472,000 in the week ended June 12, data released yesterday showed. Reports on June 16 showed U.S. housing starts fell the most since March 2009 and building permits, a sign of future construction, declined to a one-year low.
Aluminum in London fell 0.7 percent to $1,952 a ton, zinc dropped 1.3 percent to $1,743 a ton and lead dropped 1.6 percent to $1,735 a ton. Nickel declined 1.5 percent to $19,500 a ton, while tin hadn't traded by 10:24 a.m. Singapore time.