Copper is trading 324 cents per pound, down 1.5%, after housing data highlighted the country is no longer in the booming phase of growth.
The price of new homes across 70 cities in China has increased by 9.6% on the year, which is actually a reduction in the rate of house-price growth. It follows the action by the People’s Bank of China, which has reduced the availability of credit in order to prevent a housing bubble. The resulting decline in copper is the largest seen this month. China is the largest importer of copper in the world, and a fall in demand for houses would reduce the country’s appetite for the metal.
Overnight, China will announce the Conference Board leading index. The report measures business activity in the country. In January we saw an increase of 0.4%; if the February report declines, we could see copper fall further.