Copper Falls As Chinese Manufacturing Growth Slows
By STEVE ROTHWELL
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Copper fell to its lowest in more than three months following a slowdown in growth in Chinese manufacturing.
The May contract for copper fell 4.65 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.5010 per pound. The metal is trading at its lowest since November and has slumped 7.4 percent since Feb. 1.
China is the world's largest consumer of copper, and signs that Chinese demand may slow typically push the metal's price lower.The price of copper, which has many industrial uses, tends to track the outlook for global economic growth. A survey released Friday suggested continued weakness in European manufacturing, which also weighed on copper prices. A significant build-up of inventories is also hurting prices, said Edward Meir, a senior commodities analyst at INTL FCStone. In other metals trading, gold, palladium and platinum also fell. Silver bucked the trend and edged higher after losing almost 3 percent in the previous two days of trading. The lure of precious metals as an alternative investment has waned this year as the stock market has rallied and the dollar has strengthened. Commodities are typically priced in dollars and as the currency rallies, producers demand fewer dollars for their output. The dollar index, which measures the strength of the U.S. currency against a basket of currencies, has risen 4 percent in the last month. Gold for April delivery fell $5.80, or 0.4 percent, to $1,572.30 an ounce. Palladium for June delivery dropped $14.50, or 1.9 percent, to $702.40 an ounce and platinum for April fell $10, or 0.6 percent, to $1,573.50 an ounce. Silver for May edged higher, gaining 5.8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $28.49 an ounce. In agricultural commodities trading, wheat and corn rose, and soybeans fell. Wheat for May delivery rose 6 cents to $7.2050 a bushel, corn for the same month rose 5 cents to $7.085 a bushel.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV