Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) --Copper in London and Shanghai fell for the first time in four days as some investors sold the metal on speculation that the pace of gains had been too rapid. New York futures reversed an advance to a record.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dropped as much as 0.6 percent to $9,308.25 a metric ton, and was at $9,320 at 1:48 p.m. in Singapore. The contract reached a record $9,392 yesterday as China’s imports of the metal in November increased for the first month in three and supply from Chile was disrupted by a port accident.
"Sentiment in China has been hit by the fuel increase,” Wang Jianchao, an analyst with Dahua Futures Co., said from Beijing. "It’s a good excuse for investors to close out their positions before the year end. In China, the 70,000 yuan level definitely triggered some profit-taking.”
Futures on the Comex in New York declined as much as 0.5 percent to $4.2540 a pound, after climbing to a record $4.2965 a pound earlier. The metal for delivery in March on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost as much as 0.7 percent to 68,800 yuan ($10,338) a ton, after gaining as much as 1.1 percent.
China’s stocks dropped today as banks declined on profit concerns while producers of consumer staples fell after the government raised fuel prices. The Shanghai Composite Index is Asia’s worst performing stock gauge this year with a 12 percent loss amid concern monetary tightening will slow economic growth.
Japan’s export growth in November accelerated for the first time in nine months after a rebound in global demand, according to finance ministry data today. In the U.S., a gauge of same- store sales at a selection of U.S. retailers posted last week showed the biggest jump of this holiday season, adding to signs of recovery in the world’s second-largest copper user.
"Things are looking up heading into the New Year and there’s very little to stop the rally unless the world suffers another big economic shock, but that seems quite unlikely at the moment,” Yang Tao, an analyst at Baocheng Futures Co., said by phone from Zhejiang, China.
Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc’s Collahuasi venture, the world’s third-largest copper mine, won’t ship the metal from the Patache port in northern Chile until further notice, the company said on Dec. 20. A month-long strike at the mine earlier this month helped to drive prices to a record.
Zinc in London was little changed at $2,326.75 a ton, aluminum fell 0.2 percent to $2,430 a ton, and tin decreased 2 percent to $26,350 a ton. Lead increased 0.7 percent to $2,450 a ton, and nickel gained 0.3 percent to $24,700 a ton.