NEW YORK, Dec 15, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Investors shed Comex copper futures Wednesday as the stronger dollar weighed on commodity markets.
The most actively traded contract, for March delivery, settled down 1.8%, or 7.65 cents, at $4.1325 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The resurgent dollar weighed on investor appetite for dollar-denominated commodity contracts, with precious and industrial metal futures trending lower throughout the day. Buyers using foreign currencies find dollar-denominated contracts more expensive when the greenback strengthens.
The dollar continued to draw strength from the Federal Reserve's announcement Tuesday that its policy of near-zero interest rates and $600 billion fiscal stimulus would be maintained.
The euro eased after Moody's Investors Service said it will review Spain's credit rating for a possible downgrade, a move some investors saw as signaling continued financial instability in the region.
The euro was recently at $1.3260, down from $1.3382 late Tuesday.
Copper traders continued to eye China, copper's largest consumer, which didn't raise interest rates last weekend as many market participants expected.
"In the background remains the possibility of further Chinese 'tightening' which if it happens could spark a reactive sell off short term," wrote traders at Sucden Financial in London.
Settlements (ranges include open-outcry and electronic trading):
Dec copper $4.1265, down 7.50 cents; Range $4.1200-$4.1725
Mar copper $4.1325, down 7.65 cents; Range $4.1160-$4.2185