Copper prices sagged Thursday as the Eurozone debt crisis and worries about an economic slowdown in top consumer China reinforced gloomy prospects for growth and demand, while a higher dollar also undermined sentiment.
Benchmark copper traded at $8,828 a tonne in official rings from $8,970 a tonne at the close on Wednesday. The metal used in power and construction earlier on Thursday hit a session low of $8,806 a tonne.
Debt crises in the Eurozone and the United States have in recent weeks hit the copper price, which is down nearly 10 per cent since August 1 when it touched $9,905 a tonne, the highest since April.
"It's still very much a macro-oriented market. Clearly there are growth concerns and the stronger dollar is also weighing on things," said Daniel Major, an analyst at RBS.
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A firmer dollar makes commodities priced in the US currency more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Moves by China to tighten monetary policy in a bid to rein in stubbornly high inflation have meant curbs on economic activity and fears of slower demand growth for industrial metals.
China accounts for nearly 40 per cent of global copper demand, estimated at around 19 million tonnes this year. Even the stronger yuan may not boost China's commodity imports, while markets such as the US and Europe face economic uncertainty.
"The jury is still out on Chinese demand," a LME trader said, adding that the market was also focusing on economic data releases from the United States, the world's largest economy and second-largest copper consumer.
Stocks of copper in LME-registered warehouses fell 1,650 tonnes to 462,975 tonnes.