London copper drifted to a three-week low today as unease over China’s limp return to the market from a week-long break weighed on prices, although bargain hunting limited losses.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded down 0.14 per cent to $8,107.75 by 0707 GMT. Prices erased early gains to hit $8,099.25 a tonne earlier, the lowest since January 29.
Copper prices have built a base above $8,000 this year but have failed to find traction above $8,346 a tonne, a four-month peak hit early this month. Expectations that top consumer China will buy in size now that Lunar New Year has passed has helped keep a floor under prices.
The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7 per cent to 58,780 yuan ($9,400) a tonne. It earlier hit its lowest since January 29 at 58,700 yuan a tonne.
“I think we’ve already had the nicest rally that we’re going to get this year,” Singapore-based Credit Suisse analyst Ivan Szpakowski said.