* Weak U.S. private employment data adds to econ worries
* Aluminum inventory declines signal demand support
* Coming up: Chinese PMI data on Thursday
(Changes headline, recasts, updates with New York copper price, adds New
York dateline/byline and analyst comments)
By Chris Kelly and Rebekah Curtis
NEW YORK/LONDON, June 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Copper closed the second quarter of
2010 with a loss of more than 17 percent on Wednesday, snapping a string of
five consecutive quarterly gains and suffering its biggest three-month decline
since the late-2008 financial crisis.
A string of worrisome data and developments, including soft consumer
confidence in the United States and a downward revision in China’s leading
economic indicator index, led a broad retreat in the base complex, adding to
the bearish sentiment during the quarter. [ID:nLDE65T297]
“That’s clearly what the markets are reacting to,” said Peter Buchanan,
commodities analyst and senior economist at CIBC in Toronto.
“Data touched three of investors’ major concerns yesterday, namely the
outlook in China, the U.S. consumer, and also the euro zone pressure as well,”
Copper for September delivery (HGU0: ) on the COMEX metals division of the
New York Mercantile Exchange ended up 2.00 cents at $2.9505 per lb, near the
upper end of its $2.8705 to $2.9745 session range.
On the London Metal Exchange, benchmark copper for three-month delivery
(CMCU3: ) finished up $16 at $6,510 a tonne.
Despite modest gains in both markets, which traders attributed to
quarter-end window dressing, the metal lost more than 17 percent of its value
in the quarter.
Worse-than-expected private-sector employment data added to the worries,
after figures showed muted private payroll gains of only 13,000 jobs in June.
“The U.S. jobs data was disappointing, as they point to a continuation of
the anemic recovery in the United States,” said David Thurtell, analyst at
“With world producers looking for consumers to step up to the plate, we
need jobs to be created. The BRIC economies, particularly China, are doing
their best to act as a locomotive, but the load is a heavy one.”
Sentiment was further undermined by a survey of business activity in the
U.S. Midwest and news that business activity in New York dipped in June.
“We have been looking at growth to decelerate significantly in the second
half of the year, and I think the data is a sign that that is still the most
likely scenario,” CIBC’s Buchanan said.
For a graphic: http://link.reuters.com/hun72k
STOCKS OFFER SUPPORT
Other base metals slipped to their lowest in nearly three weeks, with
aluminum at one point down to $1,920 a tonne, zinc at $1,722, lead at $1,677
and nickel at $18,933. Tin fell to $17,200, its lowest since June 15.
Aluminum (CMAL3: ) closed up $27.50 at $1,977.50 a tonne.
Offering the demand picture some support, stocks of aluminum at LME
warehouses have been on the decline, last falling 5,475 tonnes to around 4.4
million tonnes, down from a record above 4.6 million tonnes hit earlier this
Zinc (CMZN3: ) ended $47 firmer at $1,790 a tonne and lead (CMPB3: ) gained $15
to finish at $1,735 a tonne.
Tin (CMSN3: ) dropped $150 to close at $17,450 a tonne, while nickel (CMNI3: )
climbed $670 to $19,745 a tonne.
“This is a market that from a macro perspective is not looking very
robust,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Dan Brebner.
“The conditions in Europe look highly risky,” he said. “There are questions
with respect to the U.S. possibly slipping into another recession. Risk
aversion is likely to be elevated.”
Metal Prices at 1851 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2009 Ytd Pct
COMEX Cu 294.25 1.95 +0.67 334.65 -12.07
LME Alum 1960.00 10.00 +0.51 2230.00 -12.11
LME Cu 6515.00 21.00 +0.32 7375.00 -11.66
LME Lead 1740.00 20.00 +1.16 2432.00 -28.45
LME Nickel 19600.00 525.00 +2.75 18525.00 5.80
LME Tin 17350.00 -250.00 -1.42 16950.00 2.36
LME Zinc 1775.00 32.00 +1.84 2560.00 -30.66
SHFE Alu 14690.00 -90.00 -0.61 17160.00 -14.39
SHFE Cu* 52070.00 -870.00 -1.64 59900.00 -13.07
SHFE Zin 14575.00 -190.00 -1.29 21195.00 -31.23
** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
Stock Market Money
(Additional reporting by Pratima Desai in London; editing by James Jukwey;
Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
METALS-Copper ends Q2 down 17 pct as recovery doubts bite
Category: Business News