Copper Falls as Both US and Chinese Housing Data Show Little Growth

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Copper futures capped the biggest decline in more than a week on demand concerns amid signs that housing markets are barely growing in China and the US, the two biggest users.

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New-home prices dropped in 68 of the state-tracked 70 cities in August from July, China’s statistics bureau said today. That was the most since January 2011, when the government changed the way it compiles the data. Real estate accounts for 50 percent of China’s copper use, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates.

In the US, new home construction in the US fell 14 percent, adding to indications of an uneven housing recovery. Groundbreaking declined 14.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 956,000-unit pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

With a decline of 0.5 percent to $3.85 per pound on Thursday, September 18, US copper producer grade 110 price recorded the biggest decline of the day. The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw a 0.5 percent decline to $3.85 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 0.5 percent to $4.04 per pound. The cash price of primary Japanese copper remained essentially flat at JPY 767,000 ($7,158) per metric ton.

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Chinese copper prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar ended a two-day climb, settling at CNY 50,860 ($8,282) per metric ton. After a couple of days of improving prices, the Chinese copper cash price held steady at CNY 51,060 ($8,315). For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese copper wire held flat at CNY 50,395 ($8,206) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady at CNY 44,300 ($7,214) per metric ton.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $6,857 per metric ton. The cash price of primary copper saw little price change yesterday on the LME at $6,895 per metric ton.

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