Copper futures tumbled in the domestic market on Thursday after a report said that manufacturing activity in China, the world's biggest copper consuming nation, shrank for the first time in seven months, darkening the demand outlook for the base metal. The gauge measuring Chinese manufacturing fell to 49.6 this month from 50.4 in April 2013, with a reading below 50 signaling contraction, Markit Economics said.
A sharp slowdown in US manufacturing activity and a contraction in Eurozone manufacturing this month also dimmed the demand outlook for the base metal, adding to selling pressure. A combined gauge of Euro area manufacturing and services stood at 47.7 in May 2013, below the level of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Investors sidelined the US home sales data that signaled a recovery in the US housing market. New home sales surged to 454,000 last month the second-highest level since the recession, above analysts' expectation of 430,000.
At the MCX, Copper futures, for the June 2013 contract, closed at Rs 408.45 per kg, down by 2.02 per cent, after opening at Rs 416.40, against a previous close of Rs 416.85. It touched an intra-day low of Rs 404.15.