Business activity in the 17-nation euro bloc fell and manufacturing shrank in China, the world's biggest consumer of the reddish metal. The base metal had gained in the aftermath of the U.S. Federal Reserve indicating it will implement a third round of quantitative easing to spur the globe's largest economy.
"For copper, the market was stalling for more than three months in a tight range. Then you had QE3 and things improved. But in the long-run you need fundamentals to recover and we need to see an improvement in China," analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov with VTB Capital told Reuters. "I am still upbeat on China's prospects towards the end of the year and I think they will stabilize their growth to maybe below 8 percent. And that is important for metals."
At 11:39 a.m. on Thursday, copper futures dropped 1.17 percent, a 0.0445 cent loss to $3.7695 per pound.
The Wall Street Journal reports HSBC indicated Chinese manufacturing continued drawing down this month, marking the 11th consecutive month of constriction.
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