Dec.8 (Bloomberg) --Copper may drop for a third day on concern that European leaders meeting today may fail to outline steps to contain the region's debt crisis and as economic growth slows in China, the largest consumer.
Three-month delivery copper swung between gains and losses before trading little changed at $7,820.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:15 p.m. Shanghai time. Copper for February delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.9 percent lower at 57,860 yuan ($9,094) a ton.
The European leaders will convene in Brussels for talks to frame the fifth "comprehensive" solution in 19 months to a debt crisis that's left Germany and France facing the threat of losing their AAA rating from Standard & Poor's. European Central Bank policy makers are expected to cut the benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1 percent in their meeting in Frankfurt today, according to 53 of 58 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
"Investors are cautious ahead of the European leaders' meeting and the ECB decision," said Xu Liping, an analyst at HNA Topwin Futures Co. "There are also uncertainties in terms of China's macro policies ahead of the annual central economic meeting."
The central economic meeting, which is usually held in December every year, sets the tone for China's macro-economic policies for next year. The statistics bureau will release key economic data for November tomorrow. Industrial output may have increased 12.6 percent last month, the slowest pace since August 2009, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
On the LME, aluminum rose 0.5 percent to $2,087.50 a ton, zinc gained 0.3 percent to $2,032 a ton, and nickel added 0.5 percent to $18,134 a ton. Lead fell 0.7 percent to $2,133.75 a ton, and tin dropped 0.5 percent to $20,400 a ton.