Gross domestic product in Japan, the fourth-biggest user of the metal, posted a second straight quarterly drop in the three months through September, data from the Cabinet Office showed. Output at factories, mines and utilities in the U.S., the second-biggest consumer, fell 0.1% in October, according to a Federal Reserve report today.
“First Japan’s data, and then a decline in U.S. industrial production,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “There are several signs that we could see a global slowdown.”
Copper futures for delivery in March dropped 0.5% to $3.022 a pound at 9:48 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are down 11% this year.
With Japan’s slump into its fourth recession since 2008 threatening the failure of the Abenomics reflation program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is taking steps to shore up growth for the coming year. Group of 20 leaders agreed to take measures that would boost their economies by a collective $2 trillion by 2018 as they battle patchy growth.
“Japan’s figures have proved disappointing across the board,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said by e-mail. “Unless the economy gathers pace again soon, this is also likely to have a negative impact on demand for metals.”
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.1% to $6,698 a metric ton ($3.038 a pound).
Orders to remove the metal from warehouses monitored by the LME declined 2.6% to 25,850 tons, the lowest since Oct. 13.
China is the biggest copper consumer, and Germany is the third-largest.
Nickel, zinc, lead and aluminum advanced in London, while tin was unchanged.
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