Copper, Gold Lose Ground

Gold is down $2 at $672.60 an ounce
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Copper prices were sliding again Thursday on news that a pending strike in Mexico would likely be delayed, thus easing immediate supply fears.

July-dated contracts for the metal were losing 5 cents at $3.36 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The

PowerShares DB Base Metals

(DBB) - Get Report

exchange traded fund, which tracks industrial metals, was off 1%.

Copper workers in Mexico, who had been considering a walkout, have postponed any action until mid-June, resulting in reduced worries about a possible metal supply disruption, according to a report from commodity broker Man Financial.

Among stocks,

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

is continuing to seek regulatory approval for its unsolicited bid for Canada's

Alcan

(AL) - Get Report

, despite a rejection of the buyout offer by the latter, it was reported late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, diversified mining giant

BHP

(BHP) - Get Report

, which has been touted as a possible white knight buyer of Alcan, was itself named as a possible target.

According to a report in Australia's

Herald Sun

newspaper, the recently formed Chinese State Investment Company may want to buy the world's biggest miner in an effort to secure the supplies of natural resources vital to the country's economic expansion. Shares of BHP were rallying 1% in recent action.

Elsewhere, precious metals prices were slipping modestly. Benchmark futures contracts for gold were down $2 at $672.60 an ounce, while silver was off 5 cents at $13.67 an ounce.

The bullion exchange-traded funds that hold stocks of the precious metals were following suit. The

streetTracks Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get Report

and the

iShares Silver Trust

(SLV) - Get Report

were down 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, in recent action.

In ferrous metals, CIBC World Markets upped its price target on shares of

Nucor

(NUE) - Get Report

to $75 from $68. The shares were recently trading up 0.6% at $67.44.