Copper declined for a second day in New York on speculation an investigation of the power grid in China, the world’s largest buyer of the metal, will curb demand.
China’s state-owned assets supervisor is investigating the head of a State Grid Corp. regional subsidiary amid a government crackdown on graft, according to a statement last week from the country’s anti-corruption agency. Copper fell 7.5 percent this year on slowing economic growth in China.
“The key for copper will be the ending of the probe into the placing of tenders by the Grid Corp., which has held up their spending plans,” said David Wilson, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in London. “The big tenders which were due in the second/third quarter haven’t yet materialized.”
Copper futures for December delivery declined 0.4 percent to $3.1415 a pound ($6,926 a metric ton) at 7:39 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal traded on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.7 percent to $6,917 a ton. The decline accelerated after reports of a cease-fire in Ukraine and a jump in inventories. President Vladimir Putin later said he didn’t agree on a cease-fire.
Stockpiles of copper in warehouses monitored by the LME climbed 4.7 percent, the most since March 18, the exchange said in its daily warehouse report today. “It won’t have helped prices today for sure,” Wilson said.