Copper fell 2.3% on Wednesdays to $3.1595 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price since July 31. So far this year, the price declined 12 percent.
Copper has been sliding since Tuesday after China’s Third Plenum — a four-day meeting that sets government economic policy for the world’s second – largest economy—released a broad blueprint calling for markets to play a more “decisive” role in economic matters.
Copper also was under pressure from lingering concerns that the Federal Reserve may start to rein in its economic stimulus measures. On Tuesday after the close of Comex copper trading, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said the central bank could start reducing its stimulus in December.
Separate reports on Thursday showed euro-zone growth slowed to a near-standstill during the third quarter, U.S. exports fell in September, and more people than expected applied for unemployment benefits in the U.S. last week.
Copper is used in a wide range of products, including appliances, consumer electronics and power cables, making prices sensitive to readings on economic growth. The euro-zone countries as a group and the U.S. are the two largest copper consumers after China.