Copper Hits a 3-Month COMEX Low on China Worries

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Copper prices on Monday dropped to their lowest level in three months, after a Chinese official said a recent decline in industrial production won’t prompt the country to embark on any fresh economic stimulus.

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Copper for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, was recently down 1.5% at $3.0450 a pound in the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell to $3.0345 a pound earlier in the session, the lowest level since June 16.

China’s finance minister, Lou Jiwei, said that weakness in a single economic indicator wouldn’t be reason enough for a drastic change in the country’s fiscal direction, the Wall Street Journal reported. Although Jiwei didn’t name any indicators, investors believed he was referring to last month’s industrial output numbers, which fell to their lowest level since the 2008 global financial crisis.

After two changeless days, the Japanese copper cash price closed at JPY 788,000 ($7,242) per metric ton on Friday, September 19. The price of US copper producer grade 110 weakened by 1.3 percent, settling at $3.80 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 declined 1.3 percent to $3.80 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 1.2 percent to $3.99 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper bar ended the day at CNY 50,400 ($8,208) per metric ton, after the 0.9 percent drop last Friday. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 0.9 percent, settling at CNY 50,600 ($8,241) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire continues hovering around CNY 50,395 ($8,208) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap was unchanged at CNY 44,300 ($7,215) per metric ton.

On the LME, the 3-month price of copper inched up 0.4 percent to $6,882 per metric ton. At $6,918, the primary copper cash price finished the market day on the LME up 0.3 percent per metric ton.

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