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Copper falls for a third day amid weak China data

Copper UpdatesCopper declined for a third straight day after negative Chinese economic data was published during the weekend and speculation about premature Quantitative Easing scale back in the U.S. was spurred following positive U.S. labor figures.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for July delivery dropped 1.11% on the day and stood at $3.232 a pound at 8:51 GMT.

After Chinese officials revealed information last week on manipulators who used currency conversions to boost export data, much lower figures were expected than forecast earlier. Chinas industrial output mismatched expectations and rose 9.2% in May, below forecasts. Factory-gate prices dropped for a fifteenth straight month. Chinese exports jumped by only 1% in May and shipments to the U.S. and European Union, the Asian nation’s two biggest export targets, declined for a third straight month. China’s imports were projected to gain 6% but official figures strayed well below and showed a 0.3% decrease, marking a ten-month low.

Consumer inflation shrank to 2.1%, mismatching a 2.9% forecast and Producer Price Index (PPI) tumbled 2.9%, above expectations of a 2.5% decrease. The M2 money supply jumped 15.8%, missing 15.9% expectation. Retail Sales met projections of a 12.9% gain and so did Industrial Production with a 9.2% increase on an annual basis.

Chinas unwrought copper and copper products imports totaled 358 672 tons in May, above Aprils 295 799 tons, but well below May 2012s 419 741 figure.

Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul commented for Bloomberg: “China’s data over the weekend stoked concern over demand in China, depressing the metals markets.”

Copper traders consider shifts in China’s economic activity as one of the main factors that influence copper prices. The metal is widely used in the Asian nation’s manufacturing sector. China accounts for around 40% of global demand.

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