Copper fell for a ninth session in New York, the longest slump in 18 years, after a report showed manufacturing slowed last month in China, the world’s biggest metal user. Aluminum touched the lowest since 2009.
A Purchasing Managers’ Index slid to 50.5 in January from 51 in December, China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation said on Feb. 1, nearing the level of 50 that divides growth and shrinkage. A private factory gauge on Jan. 30 signaled the first contraction in six months. Chinese markets are closed through Feb. 6 for Lunar New Year celebrations.
“Chinese PMIs in the past week show the economy might be slowing down,” Richard Fu, director for Asian commodity trading at Newedge Group SA in London, said in a note.
Copper futures for delivery in March fell 0.4 percent to settle at $3.1835 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $3.182, the lowest for a most-active contract since Dec. 4. Prices are down 5 percent since Jan. 21, the longest slump since December 1995. On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months lost 0.4 percent to $7,038 a metric ton ($3.19 a pound).