Darren Kugler
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Darren Kugler in Commodities,

Aluminum Retreats as European Factory Output Seen Contracting

Aluminum fell for first time in five days before a gauge that may show euro-area factory output contracted for the first time in 15 months and after a similar manufacturing report on China beat estimates.

The metal retreated as much as 0.9 percent in London after closing yesterday at the highest since Sept. 16. A China Purchasing Managers’ Index for October from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics released today was 50.4, exceeding the median estimate of 50.2 in a Bloomberg News survey. Markit Economics will later report that factory output in the euro region fell to a reading of 49.9 this month, according to a separate survey. It would be the first time since June 2013 that the gauge dropped below 50, the level that indicates expansion.

“People are more concerned about a slowdown in Europe, outweighing today’s better-than-expected Chinese data,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at Fujitomi Co., a commodities broker in Tokyo. “Investors will watch the European data today to see if it falls below 50.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange slid 0.3 to $2,006.50 a metric ton at 3:13 p.m. in Hong Kong.

Copper in London was up 0.4 percent at $6,658 a ton. In New York, futures for December delivery were up 0.2 percent at $3.024 a pound, while the contract for the same month in Shanghai rose 0.1 percent to close at 47,120 yuan ($7,701) a ton.

On the LME, nickel, zinc and tin rose while lead fell.