Jul. 28 (Bloomberg) –Copper fell for the second time this week after orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly dropped, damping the outlook for metal demand.
Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years fell 2.1 percent in June, the Commerce Department said today. The median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 0.3 percent increase. The U.S. is the world's largest copper user after China.
"Durable-goods orders are a little bit of a disappointment for the market," Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "We are seeing some reluctance on the part of buyers."
Copper futures for September delivery dropped 3.15 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at $4.4465 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since July 21.
The metal has dropped 4.5 percent since reaching a record $4.6575 on Feb. 15 amid weak Chinese demand.
Declines were limited as a strike continued at the world's biggest copper mine, BHP Billiton Ltd.'s Escondida in Chile. The company is refusing to negotiate with workers.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid $41, or 0.4 percent, to $9,779 a metric ton ($4.44 a pound).
Aluminum, lead and zinc also fell in London. Nickel and tin gained.