Copper drops to 1-month low on concern stimulus will wane

Prices in London and New York drop

July copper futures at Comex lost 0.5 percent to $3.1785 a pound. July copper futures at Comex lost 0.5 percent to $3.1785 a pound.

Copper declined for a fifth day, the longest slump since Feb. 22, amid speculation that central banks from Tokyo to Washington will refrain from adding more stimulus to boost global growth.

Metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.6 percent to $7,020 a metric ton, the lowest level since May 3, and was at $7,048.25 by 10:30 a.m. in Tokyo. Futures for delivery in July on the Comex lost 0.5 percent to $3.1785 a pound.

The Bank of Japan yesterday refrained from expanding its tools to rekindle inflation and stoke growth, sticking with an April pledge to increase the monetary base by 60 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen ($726 billion) a year. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last month that the central bank could curtail its $85 billion monthly bond purchases if the U.S. employment outlook shows a sustainable improvement.

“The chances of additional stimulus have now waned, outweighing mine-supply disruptions,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. may need to declare force majeure on shipments from its Grasberg project if the world’s second-largest copper mine stays shut for too long, Rozik B. Soetjipto, the president director of the company’s Indonesian unit, said on June 9. Force majeure is a legal clause allowing companies to miss deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed today for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

On the LME, nickel fell to the lowest since July 2009, while lead and tin also fell. Aluminum and zinc climbed.

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