U.S. copper futures ended with sharp losses on Thursday as a stronger tone in the dollar sparked a bearish drag across the broader complex, and analysts said the shift in momentum could pull prices of the red metal back down toward $3.00 a lb.

For detailed report on global copper markets, click on [MET/L]

  • Benchmark copper for March delivery HGH0 tumbled 7.75 cents, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $3.1280 a lb on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division.
  • Range ran from $3.1180 to $3.2045.
  • COMEX estimated futures volume at 21,475 lots by 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT). Final volume on Wednesday hit 22,580 lots.
  • Open interest up 1,123 lots to 148,814 contracts open as of Dec. 17.
  • Copper down in sympathy with broader commodity complex on extended dollar rally one day after the U.S. Federal Reserve noted improvement in the economy and stood by plans to shutter most emergency lending by February. [USD/] [ID:nN16119711]
  • Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, which tracks 19 mostly U.S.-traded commodity futures, down over 1 percent in late business on Thursday as dollar rally strengthens.
  • Shift in dollar sentiment after more optimistic view of economy from the Fed - Frank Lesh, broker and futures analyst with Future Path Trading in Chicago.
  • Copper very sensitive to events in Europe, with respect to the credit and quality problems in Greece. Market vulnerable to another test of $3.00 (a lb) area - Steve Platt, futures analyst with Archer Financial Services in Chicago.
  • Standard & Poor's cut Greece's credit rating by one notch to BBB-plus from A-minus. [ID:nLDE5BG1RK]
  • Copper losses buck upbeat data showing factory activity accelerated in U.S. mid-Atlantic region in December. [ID:nN17362924]
  • London Metal Exchange copper warehouse stocks up 1,300 tonnes to 474,575 tonnes -- a gain of about 85 percent since middle July and the highest level since April. <0#LME-STOCKS>
  • LME stock builds another daily reminder of the growing disconnect between fundamentals and existing price levels - MF Global analyst Edward Meir.
  • COMEX copper warehouse stocks jumped 734 short tons to 94,489 short tons as of Wednesday. CMWSU
  • LME three-month copper MCU3 closed at $6,870 a tonne, down $169 from Wednesday's kerb close.