China, the globe's top consumer of the reddish metal, advised against easing limits on growth in the property sector. The U.S., the world's second largest user of the industrial metal, continued demonstrating signs of difficulties and challenges as it leads the recovery from the Great Recession.
"This is exactly what we can expect as long as the only momentum is short covering," analyst Gayle Berry with Barclays Capital told Reuters. "At some point we will get a trigger that's going to break prices out of these ranges. But because it's not obvious in what direction that trigger will take us it's very risky to take a directional position. Until we get a clear macro picture people are going to keep positions very light."
At 10:16 a.m. on Friday, copper futures dropped 2.33 percent, a 0.0825 loss to $3.452 per pound.
MarketWatch reports the price of copper has performed more strongly thus far this year than two other metals – gold and silver. That could mean an economic rebound is afoot as the industrial metal is sensitive to economic and financial developments.