Copper, little changed in New York, may fall after China, the world’s largest user, raised interest rates, boosting concern that demand will slow.
The benchmark one-year lending rate will increase to 6.31 percent from 6.06 percent, effective tomorrow, the People’s Bank of China said. Copper dropped 3.1 percent in the first quarter as the Asian country’s imports fell to a two-year low in February.
“The Chinese government is tapping on the brakes,” said Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. “The copper market is just watching China. It’s all about their demand.”
Copper futures for May delivery slid 0.45 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $4.2505 a pound at 9:53 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The price lost as much as 1 percent today.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained $13.50, or 0.1 percent, to $9,343.50 a metric ton ($4.24 a pound).
Also in London, lead, nickel and tin dropped. Zinc rose, and aluminum was little changed.
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