While four consecutive bullish sessions came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday, Dow Jones Newswires reports another factor pulling down the price of the reddish metal is the hold-up in voting to expand the euro zone's bailout fund, which is attributable to rebel legislators in Slovakia.
As one of 17 member nations of the European Union, Slovakia is the sole country that has not approved a widening of the European Financial Stability Facility. The EFSF is one strategy that officials are touting to contain the sovereign debt scourge that has torn through euro zone nations and savaged their banks and public finance systems.
"A return of the sovereign debt doom and gloom, plus the added uncertainty surrounding the Slovakian vote" for the facility continues pinching metals that are sensitive to development and growth and obstructions to that development and growth, states a note from analyst Leon Westgate with Standard Bank.
At 11:18 a.m. on Tuesday, copper futures fell 2.91 percent, a 9.8 cent fall to $3.27 per pound.
Bloomberg reports September exports in China dropped to 20.5 percent after registering 24.5 percent in August, citing estimates of economists gathered by the news service. Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank who will enter retirement this month, said the entire financial system is in peril because of the sovereign debt crisis.
And European and U.S. equities are not performing very strongly, another indication of troubling economic times ahead.
"China's economy is contracting, and we are not seeing any greater demand there," trader Frank Lesh with FuturePath Trading in Chicago told Bloomberg. "Europe has real troubles that will drag on the world economy, and it will remain a concern for the next year at least."
The third quarter of the year saw the reddish metal lose 26 percent of its value, the industrial commodity's sharpest losses since 2008. On October 3, the first trading day of the final quarter of the year, copper futures scraped their lowest price in 14 months of $2.994 per pound.
China's life and times are directly pertinent to the industrial metal's performance since the Asian nation hosts the globe's most rapidly developing economy, which trails only that of the U.S. in size.
"With respect to China, not only are there growing concerns about growth prospects, but renewed attention is being placed on the state of Chinese banks and the billions of dollars of nonperforming loans they are carrying," states a report by senior commodity analyst Edward Meir with MF Global Holdings in Darien, Connecticut.
In another U.S. state, residents are preparing for a copper plant, according to a published report.
Following a public meeting for residents to ask questions or issue concerns, the state of Indiana granted approval for an air-quality permit in the city of New Haven, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
As a suburb of Fort Wayne in Northeast Indiana, the city of New Haven is preparing to welcome the joint project between Steel Dynamics and La Farga Group, which is based in Barcelona, Spain.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued the permit. Air quality department head Jack Harmon penned a letter on the matter stating the compliance of SDI La Farga, the combination of the companies, with state and federal air pollution laws mandates the state agency to grant the permit.