The copper price fell on Wednesday as investors exercised caution ahead of a key central bank meeting in Europe that could offer more clues on its tapering decision.
The dollar hovered near a one-week peak against major peers, buoyed by elevated Treasury yields and a weaker euro amid caution before the European Central Bank debates a cut in its stimulus on Thursday.
A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive, and therefore, less appealing to holders of other currencies.
Copper for delivery in December fell 1.2% from Tuesday’s settlement price, touching $4.230 per pound ($9,306 per tonne) on the Comex market in New York.
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The copper price has been losing steam since last week as data showed that factory activity slowed in August across major parts of Europe and Asia.
In China, manufacturing contracted for the first time in nearly one and a half years.
China’s state reserves administration also released 150,000 tonnes of copper, aluminum, and zinc in the market that led to some cooling in copper prices.
Chilean copper exports soared 40.5% in value in August from a year earlier amid high global prices for the red metal, the central bank said on Tuesday.
Total exports of copper jumped to $4.383 billion last month, more than half the value of the country’s overall exports, which hit $7.822 billion in August.
Chile reported a trade surplus of $6 million, the bank said, as imports in August also soared 73%, to $7.81 billion.
(With files from Reuters)