Investing.com - Copper futures fell to a one-week low on Tuesday, amid speculation a slowing economy in China will reduce demand for the industrial metal. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
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On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.327 a pound during European morning trade, down 0.5%.
Comex copper prices hit a session low of USD3.320 a pound earlier in the day, the weakest level since January 15.
Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.308 a pound, the low from January 15 and resistance at USD3.364 a pound, the high from January 17.
There was no settlement on the Comex on Monday as floor trading remained closed due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Monday’s transactions will be booked today for settlement purposes.
Data on Monday showed that China’s economy expanded at an annual rate of 7.7% in the fourth quarter, down from 7.8% in the three months to September.
A separate report showed that industrial production in China rose by an annualized rate of 9.7% in December, compared to expectations for a 9.8% increase, after a 10% gain in the previous month.
The next slice of Chinese economic data to come out will be the HSBC preliminary purchasing managers'' index for January, due on Thursday.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released last Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers reduced their bullish bets in copper futures in the week ending January 14.
Net longs totaled 25,664 contracts as of last week, compared to 35,029 in the preceding week.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for February delivery shed 0.3% to trade at USD1,248.00 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery dropped 1.1% to trade at USD20.08 a troy ounce.
Gold and silver prices were under pressure amid speculation the Federal Reserve will make a further reduction in monetary stimulus at its policy meeting next week.