World Economy

Copper Falls to Four-Year Low

Copper Falls to Four-Year LowCopper Falls to Four-Year Low

Copper slid to a four-year low after Chinese factory-gate prices extended a record run of declines, fueling concern economies are slowing down in the biggest consumers of the metal.

Producer prices dropped the most in two years, China’s statistics bureau said today. German industrial production unexpectedly fell for the first time in three months, the Economy Ministry said. US payrolls had the smallest increase since August, economists said before monthly data due Friday. The three nations are the world’s largest copper users, Bloomberg reported.

“Metal prices are pressured by the weaker activity out of China, while investors are still weighing the global economic and geopolitical signs to enter markets,” RBC Capital Markets Ltd. said in a note.

Copper for delivery in three months declined 0.2 percent to $6,092 a metric ton by 10:57 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The contract slid 2.6 percent this week, the most since Nov. 28, and touched $6,073.50 on Friday, the lowest level since June 2010. Futures for delivery in March fell 0.7 percent to $2.7505 a pound on the Comex in New York.

LME copper’s 14-day relative strength index, gauging whether a commodity is overbought or oversold, was at 27.6. Some analysts view levels below 30 as signaling an impending rebound.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME climbed 4.6 percent, the most since September, to 187,475 tons, daily data showed. Inventories are at the highest since May amid deliveries in Belgium, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore. Stocks tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed for a fifth week to 112,666 tons, the highest since April 17.

Non-farm payrolls in the US expanded by 240,000 jobs in December, a Bloomberg survey of economists showed.