Copper futures prices fell sharply Tuesday on the Commodity Exchange in New York.
Prices were under pressure from a lack of demand, which was underscored by a report from the London Metals Exchange that warehouse stocks increased by 14,795 metric tons last week, said Bette Raptopoulous, a metals analyst in New York with Prudential-Bache Securities.
In addition, Raptopoulous said, pressure came from a Commerce Department report that said sales of new homes fell 0.1% in June from the previous month. A slightly higher figure was expected, she said.
The weaker value of the British pound in trading against the U.S. dollar also discouraged buyers in the copper pit, analysts said.
Grain and soybean futures prices were lower on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending a slide that already has prices at or near their lowest levels in seven years.
Anticipation of good crops, low demand and new legislation that will lower price supports for farmers combined to pressure prices of corn and soybeans, said Robert Lekberg, a grain analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros.