July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Copper declined as concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery persist. Zinc fell.
Copper for three-month delivery lost 0.3 percent to $6,665 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:00 p.m. in Shanghai. Zinc dropped 1 percent to $1,845.75 a ton.
Portugal had its credit rating reduced two levels to A1 at Moody's Investors Service yesterday on prospects for weak economic growth and a growing debt burden. Copper, used in construction and home appliances, has dropped 9.4 percent this year on signs that growing budget deficits from Greece to Spain may slow the global economic recovery.
"Euro-zone issues are not over yet," Lu Chenghong, a trader at Hong Kong Sancharm Investment & Trading Co., said from Shanghai today. "We don't see an up reason for metal prices unless China's demand shows solid signs of improvement after the summer lull."
Copper for October delivery rose as much as 1.7 percent to 53,200 yuan ($7,854) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and closed at 52,910 yuan. Zinc added as much as 2 percent to 15,160 yuan a ton and closed at 15,105 yuan a ton.
China's State Council Information Office will hold a briefing on the nation's first-half economic performance in Beijing tomorrow. Statistics may show China's economic expansion slowed in the second quarter, compared with the first three months of the year.
Wait and See
"Open interest dwindled as investors chose to wait and see how the wind blows on the day," Liu Jia, an analyst at Jinrui Futures Co., said from Shenzhen today. Open interest refers to the combined number of buy and sell positions held by traders.
Nickel in London was unchanged at $19,550 a ton at 3:02 p.m. in Shanghai. The nickel market may swing to a greater deficit than expected this year because of supply disruptions and greater Chinese demand, said Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., the biggest producer in Japan.
World demand may exceed supply by 40,000 metric tons this year, up from the company's forecast in April of 36,000 tons, Toru Higo, general manager of the Tokyo-based company's nickel sales and raw material department, said. This would be the first deficit since 2006, he said.
Lead in London fell 0.6 percent to $1,814 a ton, aluminum added 0.2 percent to $1,998.25 a ton, while tin lost 0.6 percent to $17,900 a ton at 3:03 p.m. in Shanghai.