Copper futures fell on Monday in the aftermath of a report forecast to indicate that factory orders in the euro zone's largest economy dropped for a third month during the past four, according to Bloomberg.
The Economic Ministry of Germany, host of the region's healthiest economy, is projected to indicate on Tuesday that orders fell 1.4 percent in November, Bloomberg economists indicated. Demand is forecast to slow as a result of the announcement as Germany is the globe's third-largest consumer of the reddish metal.
"If Germany stumbles, that means the rest of Europe will really be struggling," analyst David Wilson with Citigroup Inc. in London told the news source on Monday. "This will be supportive for the dollar versus the euro."
At 1:28 p.m. on Monday, copper futures fell 0.37 percent, a 0.0135 cent loss to $3.68 per pound.
Forecast for lighter trade
The base metal is sensitive to economic and financial news and developments due to its myriad uses in construction, manufacturing and other industry.
The analyst noted that commerce with the reddish metal as of late hasn't been as heavy as anticipated.
"Activity has been fairly light," the analyst told the news source. "We haven't seen very much consumer activity at all. We did actually see some producers selling copper last week. That suggested things were going to run out of steam."
The Shanghai Futures Exchange noted inventories of the metal notched its top level in eight months last week when it checked in at 206,458 tons.
The London Metal Exchange noted its inventories dropped 0.3 percent to amount to 319,400 tons, daily exchange figures indicate. The LME noted that orders to pull copper from its warehouses fell 1.8 percent to 70,275 tons.
Also impacting the price of copper futures was economic activity in its largest supplier.
Largest monthly trade surplus
Chile last month marked its biggest monthly trade surplus since April 2011, according to the nation's central bank as cited by Reuters.
That was spurred by sales of copper, which is the South American nation's biggest export.
China's trade surplus in December amounted to $1.506 billion and it helped push the nation's annual trade surplus to $4.208 billion. But that figure from last year hardly compares to the $10.792 billion surplus from the year prior, according to the news source.
This past December saw exports from Chile of the reddish metal amount to $4.704 billion, representing the top level in 24 months.
Chile's economy shows surprising strength
The nation's economy has surprised many analysts considering the economic troubles of China, the globe's largest consumer of the reddish metal.
The South American nation's economy is reliant on exports and also has demonstrated well in the face of challenges presented by the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone, Reuters reports.
The nation's trade surplus in December 2011 amounted to $1.176 billion, bank data states.
That amounts to a second-straight monthly surplus after four consecutive deficits.
Last month saw exports amount to roughly $7.714 billion as imports amounted to approximately $6.208 billion.
December revenue for copper climbed from $3.859 billion during the month prior, according to the central bank of Chile. Last year saw exports of copper amount to $42.723 billion.
Upward drive to begin?
The reddish metal might be poised to climb, according to a column in MarketWatch.
But the column also notes that commodity prices also are poised for sharp increases, which would push up bond yields as well.
The metal has been trading within a very narrow trade range while the long term has seen flat action, the column states, noting the upward spike of the metal is likely to occur sooner rather than later.
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