Copper Prices Stunted by Flat Chinese Construction Demand

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Copper prices fell, heading for the first weekly drop this month, as demand concerns mounted amid further signs of slowing economic growth in China, the world’s biggest metals user.

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New-home prices dropped last month in 67 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. Construction accounts for 21% of China’s copper demand, according to Deutsche Bank AG. The dollar reached a 5-year high against a basket of 10 currencies, paring demand for metals as alternative investments.

On Thursday, December 18, the day’s biggest mover was the Japanese copper cash price, which saw a 1.4% decline to JPY 777,000 ($6,533) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 110 is back up, rising by 0.3% on Thursday to close at $3.59 per pound. Following a 0.3% rise yesterday, the price of US copper producer grade 122 closed at $3.59 per pound. Following a two-day drop, the price of US copper producer grade 102 increased by 0.3% to $3.78 per pound.

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Chinese copper closed mixed on Thursday. The price of Chinese copper bar rose 0.3% to CNY 47,250 ($7,605) per metric ton after a two-day drop. After falling for two days, the cash price of Chinese copper rose 0.3% to CNY 47,450 ($7,637) per metric ton. Following a 0.3% rise yesterday, the price of Chinese copper wire closed at CNY 46,440 ($7,474) per metric ton. Chinese bright copper scrap saw little change in its price on Thursday at CNY 40,200 ($6,470) per metric ton.

After falling 1.3% to $6,269 per metric ton, the copper 3-month price reached a 30-day low on the LME. The cash price of primary copper fell 1.3% to a 30-day low on the LME of $6,305 per metric ton yesterday.

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