Copper prices, home sales fallA decline in the price of copper and the U.S. housing slump may be related.

Copper fell to its lowest price in two weeks amidst reports that the real estate market was experiencing a major slump in home sales, Bloomberg reports. Purchases of previously owned homes fell 27.2 percent to a 3.83 million annual rate, according to figures from the National Association of Realtors. In contrast, the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 4.65 million. Meanwhile, copper futures for December delivery fell 5.05 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $3.262 a pound.

"The economy is stumbling," Lannie Cohen, the president of Capitol Commodity Services in Indianapolis, told Bloomberg. "The copper picture is all about demand."

The United States is the second-largest consumer of copper in the world, second only to China. The metal is used in everything from electronic wiring to plumbing, roofing and cadding. It also has anti-microbial properties that make its use popular in hospitals.

The slump in home sales may account for much of the decline in demand for copper. Building and construction account for nearly half of copper demand in the U.S., according to an estimate by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
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