Copper declines on strong dollar and China curbs

Copper in London fell to the lowest price in 10 weeks as the dollar's rally and China's limits on bank lending reduced metals' appeal.

The contract for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange declined as much as 2.2 per cent to $6,600 a tonne, the lowest level since November 16. The metal posted the biggest monthly drop since December 2008 last week. London zinc, lead and tin hit multi-month lows and Shanghai copper tumbled the daily limit.

The May-delivery contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange tumbled by the five per cent daily limit from the previous settlement price to Y53,360 a tonne, the lowest price since November 19. It closed two per cent down at Y54,470. "The dollar's rally and China's tightening are a double whammy to the copper market, which may continue a downward correction for another two months," Jing Chuan, a trader at Great Wall Futures, said in Shanghai yesterday.

China's manufacturing grew in January at the second-fastest pace since 2008, figures from the Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed yesterday. The Purchasing Managers' Index dropped more than economists forecast to a seasonally adjusted 55.8 in January from 56.6 in December. A number above 50 indicates an expansion.

 

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