LONDON, Jun. 23 -- Base metals on the London Metal Exchange ended mostly lower Wednesday on record low U.S. new home sales data and a weaker euro.
The poor housing figures reinforced convictions that the U.S. economy's recovery will struggle without government support, forcing investors to seek protection in the dollar.
Copper closed 1.4% lower at $6,515 a metric ton.
"The jobs news and housing news haven't been that good for a while," said a trader in London.
New home sales fell 32.7% in May to a record low annual rate of 300,000, worse than the drop of 20.6% expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
Zinc managed to partially shrug off the weakness across the rest of the metals, underpinned by consumer buying in China.
Nickel ended lower, though Standard Bank said the steady decline in LME nickel inventories should put a floor under prices at around $19,500/ton. Inventories available for withdrawal have dropped 10% since the end of May, the bank said in a report Wednesday.
Goldman Sachs Wedneday said it viewed China's ending of export tax rebates for some base metals as a bullish factor.
The removal of the rebates should reduce metals output from energy-intensive industries such as aluminum, the investment bank said in a report.