Copper price lowest in nearly a month on Chinese trade data

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Copper prices fell to their weakest in nearly a month on Tuesday after weak Chinese trade and auto sales data heightened concern over demand.

Copper for delivery in September on the Comex market in New York touched $3.76 per pound ($8,272 per tonne), down 1.8% compared to Monday’s closing.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) extended losses into a third day, slipping 1.8% to $8,335 by 0930 GMT to register the weakest price since July 11.

The September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3% to 68,730 yuan ($9,528.23) per tonne.

Data showed China’s imports and exports fell much faster than expected in July, threatening growth prospects in the world’s second-largest economy.

“With the trade data worse than expected, risk aversion has returned, so metals are surrendering the gains we had a bit earlier,” said Amelia Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International in London.

“Tomorrow we have Chinese CPI numbers, which could show some signs of deflation, so that could again weigh on sentiment,” Fu added.

China’s passenger vehicle sales fell for a second month in July while imports of unwrought copper and copper products dropped by 2.7% year-on-year.

(With files from Reuters)