copper futures prices

copper futures prices

January 27, 2015

Copper is headed for the biggest monthly loss since September 2011 amid growing speculation that demand is weakening in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer. Prices declined on Tuesday as durable-goods orders dropped for the fourth consecutive month in the U.S., the second-biggest user.

Investors are awaiting commentary from the Federal Reserve after ends its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday in Washington. The U.S. central bank is trying to determine whether declining oil prices, a slowdown in European growth and any fallout from the Greek elections will threaten the U.S. recovery as it considers raising interest rates. Higher rates will strengthen the dollar, making commodities priced in the greenback less attractive to investors.

“The market is hoping the U.S. won’t make signals about raising interest rates,” said Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Corp. in Seoul. “This is not the time to raise rates. The dollar is already strong after the problems in the euro zone, especially with Greece.”

U.S. new-home sales in December rose to the highest level in more than six years, increasing 11.6 percent to a 481,000 annualized pace.

Copper futures for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $5,435 a metric ton ($2.47 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange at 11:03 a.m. in Hong Kong. Prices fell 2.9 percent to $5,421 a ton on Tuesday, the lowest since July 2009. The metal’s 14-day relative strength index closed on Jan. 27 for the fourth session at or below 30, a level that indicates to some investors the contract has been oversold.

In New York, copper futures for March delivery were little changed at $2.459 a pound, while the metal for April in Shanghai dropped 2.1 percent to 39,430 yuan ($6,317) a ton.

Nickel fell 0.6 percent to $14,695 a ton while zinc advanced 0.8 percent. Also on the LME, tin rose while aluminum and lead were unchanged.

- Alex Davis in Hong Kong at Bloomberg.