Copper fell on Thursday to its lowest this week as the dollar gained and investors are concern demand from the U.S. is weakening.
The dollar rose against the euro on a report of better than expected unemployment claims. First time claims for jobless benefits fell 9,000 last week to 365,000 the U.S. Labor Department reported.
The economic outlook in the U.S. raised concerns that demand may slow after the Federal Reserve lowered its estimates for U.S. gross domestic product to increase between 0.3 to 1.2 percent this year. The Fed had projected in January an increase of 1.3 percent to 2 percent.
Copper futures for July delivery slumped $3.2 or 0.85 percent to $3.7125 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange today. Earlier futures were down to $3.6605, the lowest since May 14. Nickel, lead and zinc also posted losses today.
Decreasing demand from China is also worrying investors, since the country is the top consumer in the world. Despite imports of refined copper increased 1.2 percent in April, compared to March, Chinese imports are 31 percent down from a year earlier. Specialists think high prices have reduced demand.
Copper stockpiles monitored in the London Metal Exchange rose by 250 tonnes to 125,200 tonnes today.
In the LME copper futures for delivery in three months were trading $84 down or 1 percent to $8,299 a metric ton.