- Copper futures held near a five-week low struck in the previous session on Tuesday, as Chinese authorities continued to investigate whether companies used the same copper, aluminum and iron ore stocks as collateral for multiple loans.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for July delivery held in a range between $3.022 and $3.053 a pound. Prices last traded at $3.028 during European morning hours, down 0.5%, or 1.5 cents.

The red metal fell to $3.018 on Monday, the lowest since May 7, before settling at $3.043, down 0.25%, or 0.7 cents.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.013 a pound, the low from May 2 and resistance at $3.059 a pound, the high from June 9.

Copper prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions as traders worried about the outcome of a Chinese investigation into commodities-fueled financing deals that could hurt demand for the industrial metal.

Concerns about fraud in commodities markets spread to a second Chinese port of Penglai on Monday after authorities already began conducting a probe into allegations of fraud in the port of Qingdao last week.

Copper is used as collateral by companies and investors in China, in an effort to work around strict lending standards enforced by Beijing.

Meanwhile, official data released earlier showed that the annual rate of consumer price inflation in China ticked up to a four-month high of 2.5% in May while producer price inflation slowed.

China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery eased up 0.02%, or 20 cents, to trade at $1,254.10 a troy ounce, while silver for July delivery shed 0.09%, or 1.8 cents, to trade at $19.04 an ounce.

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