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Copper futures fall 1% ahead of ECB, BoE meetings

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Investing.com - Copper futures fell sharply on Thursday, moving off the previous session's two-week high as traders turned their attention to a pair of important central bank meetings later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for July delivery traded at USD3.338 a pound during European morning trade, down 1% on the day.

New York-traded copper prices fell by as much as 1.2% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD3.334 a pound.

Market players also looked ahead to the European Central Bank meeting later in the session.

The ECB was not widely expected to make any changes to monetary policy at its monthly meeting later Thursday but the bank's post-policy meeting press conference with President Mario Draghi would be closely watched.

Also Thursday, the Bank of England was expected to keep monetary policy unchanged at its monthly meeting after data on Wednesday showed that service sector activity in the U.K. expanded at the fastest rate since March 2012 last month.

Copper traders were also awaiting data on U.S. jobless claims later in the session to assess the strength of the U.S. economy and the need for further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

Data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. private sector added fewer-than-expected jobs in May, dampening expectations that the U.S. central bank would start to unwind its asset purchase program this year.

Payroll processor ADP said U.S. non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 135,000 last month, below expectations for an increase of 165,000.

Prices have been well-supported in recent sessions, with copper futures hitting a two-week high of USD3.398 a pound on Wednesday after Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said earlier in the week that production at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia will be shut for three months, following two separate and fatal accidents.

Grasberg is one of the world's largest copper mines. In 2011, Freeport sold 1.2 billion pounds of copper from Grasberg.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery eased up 0.15% to trade at USD1,400.65 a troy ounce, while silver for July delivery dipped 0.25% to trade at USD22.41 a troy ounce.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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