Copper for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 1.40 cents or 0.4% to $3.1375 per lb.
Since the second half of August, the red metal built toward the highest point since September 2014 on fund-buying and strong economic data from China and the USA. But prices are reaching a top with technical selling now erasing some of those gains.
“We remain bullish for copper’s fundamentals, but prices look overstretched in the short term, so some profit-taking seems probable and some signs of weakness are showing up on the chart,” Metal Bulletin senior analyst William Adams said.
In supply-side news, copper miners in Chile are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the industry in the mid-to-long term but have said that caution, especially towards costs and investments, is still needed.
Copper production at Chile’s state-owned Codelco edged lower in the first half of 2017 but higher prices led the miner to report strong profit growth in the period.
In the precious metals space, Comex gold for December settlement gained $9.60 or 0.7% to $1,348.60 per oz.
Currency moves and data releases
• The dollar index dipped 0.82% to 91.45.
• In other commodities, the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was down 0.51% to $48.91 per barrel.
• In US data, revised nonfarm productivity during the second quarter came in at 1.5%, above the forecast of 1.2%. Unit labour costs over the same period stood at 0.2%, below estimates of a 0.5% increase. Weekly unemployment surged to 298,000, a big miss from the economic consensus of 245,000.
• Later, the Federal Reserve’s Cleveland president Loretta Mester speaks on the economic outlook and monetary policy. ECB policymakers will also meet later today.
Comex copper prices faltered in morning trading on Thursday September 7 in the USA, with signs that the surge to a three-year high is beginning to lose momentum.