Within days after touching its highest value in roughly one month, the industrial metal slipped as a result of investors viewing the state of the global economy as too weak to sustain those high prices, Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Minimized supplies of the reddish metal elsewhere in the world pushed it to its highest value in four weeks this past Tuesday. Strong manufacturing economic data from the U.S., host of the globe's largest economy, also drove the reddish metal to its top price earlier this week.
Due to its myriad uses in construction, industry and manufacturing, copper is sensitive to economic and financial news and developments throughout the world.
But on Wednesday, underwhelming economic data tugged down the price of copper futures. April saw manufacturing in the debt-hobbled euro zone and China, host of the globe's second-biggest economy and the world's largest consumer of the reddish metal. China uses as much as 40 percent of the globe's supply of copper.
Losses to the reddish metal resumed on Thursday.
"We've got growth, but it's not enough," broker Frank Lesh with FuturePath Trading told Dow Jones Newswires. "All of these (commodities) markets are waiting for some clarity."
At 1:37 p.m. on Thursday, copper futures fell 1.41 percent, a 5.35 cent slip to $3.7335 per pound.
Stronger than anticipated unemployment data from the U.S. initially benefited copper futures but that rally was trumped by losses.
Reuters attributes the losses to nebulous circumstances with economic development and growth in the U.S.
Also dragging down the industrial metal were unsuccessful attempts to pacify concerned investors in Spain, a euro zone nation fighting to stay afloat as the sovereign debt crisis encircles it.
Spain conducted a bond auction on Thursday but, still, investors remained worried about the nation dragging down the region's effort to bounce back from damages wrought by the debt scourge. That, consequently, minimized demand for the metal.
The losses to copper come three months after it had gained 14 percent on the year. But, since then, the reddish metal has lost 5 percent of its value to amount to yearly gains thus far of roughly 9 percent.
"There is still a whole host of uncertainties in the market. There are troubles in the euro zone, and with non-farm payrolls out of the U.S. tomorrow, there is a lot of scope for volatility in commodity markets," analyst Robin Bhar with Societe Generale told Reuters.
She noted the price per metric ton has been a constant for the reddish metal but said that might not hold.
"The $8,200 level has been pretty solid support for copper," Bhar told the news source. "If it doesn't hold above that, then it could be quite bearish because it would have broken some fairly influential support levels."
The debt sale in Spain sold 2.5-billion-euros-worth of bond in denominations of three and five years. Despite the sale, expenses and costs for borrowing leaped higher as compared to prior auctions.
The Financial Times reports the reddish metal was pulled down by investors and traders in China returning to work after a long weekend.
The Asian nation holds record levels of copper but prices were driven higher after supplies elsewhere in the market were lower.
The nation's top producer and smelter of the reddish metal, Jiangxi Copper, told the news source it plans to ship the reddish metal.
That development, which occurred over the weekend, was an effort to relax the shortfall of the reddish metal.
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