Nov 07, 2011 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures slipped Monday on worries about European debt problems and pressure from a stronger dollar.
The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, fell 2.90 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $3.5355 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
November delivery metal fell 3.00 cents, or 0.8%, to $3.5330 a pound.
Copper edged lower as the greenback rallied versus the euro. Copper futures are denominated in dollars and seem more expensive to buyers who use other currencies.
Italy dominated market attention, as questions over its political stability and the health of its economy pushed the cost of government borrowing to a euro-era high. The euro-zone member faces a parliamentary budget vote Tuesday, with some worried that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi carries only a thin majority.
"We are looking towards tomorrow's Italian parliamentary budget vote that may dictate the euro sentiment," said traders at Sucden Financial in a note to clients.
However, copper's losses were muted as the European situation remains murky and some market watchers are holding out hope for a resolution to the region's debt problems. Europe as a region is second after China in global demand for the industrial metal and worries over its economic growth have kept copper's prices under pressure in recent weeks.
"If Europe gets a better face to it, so does China. Instantly. And then copper is undervalued," said Ira Epstein, director of the Ira Esptein division at the Linn Group.
Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Nov $3.5330; down 3.00 cents; Range $3.5330-$3.5500
Dec $3.5355; down 2.90 cents; Range $3.4905-$3.6535