Copper Slips 1.5% on Chinese Import Data

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"Imports drop for third month, stoking fears of a demand shortfall"

Copper slipped 1.5% in Europe on Monday after Chinese data showing a drop in the country's copper imports for a third month in June stoked fears of a demand shortfall.

Imports of unwrought copper, including semi-finished products, came in at 328,231 tonsó100,000 tons lower than expected and 17.3% less than in May. Analysts said while a seasonal slowdown was not too disquieting over the summer, further signs of weakness in Chinese imports could pressure the base metals.

"The litmus test will be the end of the summer recess, going into the final quarter," said Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research. "If demand for base metals should remain weak during September going into October that would be a negative sign."

Three-month copper MCU3 on the London Metal Exchange was trading at $6,664/ton at 0726 GMT compared with $6,769 at the close on Friday.

LME copper may end a rebound from $6,318/ton over the next one or two trading sessions, as an upward wave "c" could have ended after a small five-wave cycle above the wave "b" bottom at $6,425 is observed, Reuters Analyst Wang Tao said.

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