Copper bulls retreat on signs Chinese demand weaker

Annual Advances

Seventeen of 34 traders and analysts surveyed said gold would advance next week, 10 were bearish and seven predicted little change. Bullion fell 4.9% to $1,593.20 an ounce in London this year after 12 consecutive annual advances.

Bullion holdings in exchange-traded products fell 6.1% since the start of the year, data compiled by Bloomberg show, as investors chased higher returns from stocks markets. The MSCI All-Country World Index is trading at a 4 1/2-year high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average extended the longest rally since 1996 and the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was within 0.1% of a record yesterday amid signs of economic recovery in the U.S.

“The Chinese picture has been weaker, not only in terms of economic data, but also the clampdown on real-estate market,” said Nic Brown, the London-based head of commodities research at Natixis SA. “But if the U.S. equity market is correct, can we really expect Chinese growth to disappoint again this year?”

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