Copper futures fell to a 12-week low on economic signals indicating easing demand in China, the world’s top consumer, and the U.S., the second-biggest.
In China, consumer inflation touched a four-month low and factory-gate prices extended a decline to 30 straight months, government data showed today. In the U.S., jobless claims unexpectedly rose to a two-month high, the Labor Department said.
“With those growing concerns about global demand and growth, we can understand why we’ve seen copper under pressure,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $3.084 a pound at 10:17 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price touched $3.0625, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 19.
A rally by the dollar, escalating geopolitical tensions, expectations of a U.S. interest-rate increase and an economic slowdown in China contributed to declines in metal prices, RBC Capital Markets LLC said in a note.
The greenback approached a 14-month high against a basket of 10 currencies. On Sept. 9, a gauge of the six main prices on the London Metal Exchange fell 2.4 percent, the most in six months.
Today, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.8 percent to $6,815.25 a metric ton ($3.09 a pound) on the LME. Through yesterday, the price fell 6.7 percent this year.
Aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead fell in London, while tin gained.