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Copper futures edge lower after disappointing China data

By: Investing.com
Posted: 5/13/2013 7:14:00 AM
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Investing.com - Copper futures edged lower Monday, as appetite for riskier assets weakened after data showed that industrial production in China rose at a slower rate than expected last month.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for July delivery traded at USD3.363 a pound during European morning trade, down 0.5% on the day.

New York-traded copper prices fell by as much as 1.4% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD3.337 a pound.

Official data released earlier showed that industrial production in China rose 9.3% in April, below expectations for a 9.5% increase and following an 8.9% rise the previous month.

Separate data showed that retail sales in China increased by 12.8% in April, in line with expectations.

The weaker-than-expected data fuelled concerns that China's economic recovery was stalling.

Meanwhile, the dollar was in demand as recent strong U.S. employment data fuelled speculation over an earlier-than-expected end to the Federal Reserve's USD85 billion a month asset purchase program.

Data on Thursday showed that showed that U.S. initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level since January 2008 in the week ending May 4.

Earlier this month official data showed that the U.S. economy added more jobs than forecast in April, pushing the unemployment rate to a more than four-year low of 7.5%.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, rose 0.1% to hit 83.28.

A stronger dollar reduces demand for raw materials as an alternative investment and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for June delivery shed 0.7% to trade at USD1,426.85 a troy ounce, while silver for July delivery shed 0.3% to trade at USD23.58 a troy ounce.

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