Copper Falls to Lowest Level in Nearly a Month on Weak Chinese Data

By Ira Iosebashvili Features Dow Jones Newswires

Copper prices fell to their lowest level in nearly a month Thursday, weighed down by weaker-than-expected economic data from China, the world's largest consumer of the metal.

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Copper for December delivery closed down 0.8% to $2.9575 a pound on the Nymex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since August 18.

China's August industrial production was the weakest since December, while investment growth in the year to date hit its lowest level since 1999, according to official figures. That followed July data that widely undershot expectations.

Copper is heavily used in construction and manufacturing, making its price sensitive to signs of flagging growth. China accounts for some 45% of global copper demand.

As evidence mounts that China's growth may be slowing, "copper is in the firing line," analysts at Standard Bank said in a note to clients.

A rally that has seen copper prices shoot up by as much as 20% from July lows has left the metal vulnerable to sharp pullbacks, analysts said.

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Aluminum, nickel and other industrial metals also traded lower.

In precious metals, gold for December delivery closed up 0.1% at $1,329.30 a troy ounce.

Write to Ira Iosebashvili at ira.iosebashvili@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 14, 2017 16:47 ET (20:47 GMT)