A day after notching its top value in one week of trading sessions, the industrial metal also lost value as the U.S. dollar gained strength following the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday. But questions about China's slow recovery and the 40 percent of global copper consumption by the Asian nation weighed heavily on market sentiment.
"The key event this week is people scaling down expectations of quantitative easing. Bernanke's speech yesterday made it less likely. The U.S. economy has been steadily recovering so they don't need it now," analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov with VTB told Reuters. "Copper inventories are dwindling, cancel led warrants are amazingly resilient and premiums are up in Europe, but you still need that fundamental Asian push which we have not seen yet."
At 2:51 p.m. on Wednesday, copper futures slipped 1.67 percent, a 6.5 cent slide to $3.8375 per pound.
Dow Jones Newswires reports the strong Chinese real-estate market is a key source of demand for the industrial metal, which is used for myriad uses including electrical wiring and plumbing.