Feb 15, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures locked in a four-day losing streak as concerns about further delays to the Greek bailout weighed on investor sentiment.
The most actively traded contract, for March delivery, fell 1.30 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $3.8015 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Some of Greece's euro-zone creditors are considering whether to delay a full bailout package for the country until after Greece's April elections. There is also a possibility of special bridging loans to cover the EUR14.4 billion in bond redemptions due next month.
"The general feeling is that Europe is going nowhere at best and heading into a recession at worst. That should pressure the euro and help the dollar, putting pressure on commodities as a whole," said Michael Gross, director of research at OptionSellers.com.
The news weighed on copper prices, as investors edged away from growth-sensitive assets in favor of havens like gold. Copper is widely used in manufacturing and construction and demand for the metal tends to wane when economic activity slows.
Earlier in the day, copper futures had traded in positive territory after China said it will increase its involvement in Europe's rescue fund and other international action to support the euro zone. China had previously limited its participation in Europe's debt problems.
"China looking to get more involved in Europe should help boost confidence that Europe as a whole should become more stable, but it may not help the Greek situation and therefore the risks remain high in the short term," William Adams, head of research at FastMarkets, said in a note.
Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Mar $3.8015; down 1.30 cents; Range $3.7900-$3.8725
May $3.8100; down 1.30 cents; Range $3.7990-$3.8800