By Ed Ballard

Copper futures slid Friday as stocks of the industrial metal continued to accumulate in warehouses.

Copper for March delivery was recently down 1.3% at $2.5665 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses have risen by 44%, or 94,000 tons, since the beginning of the week, with most of the influx coming in Asia. Stocks in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses rose 9%.

"Both point to weaker copper demand and higher copper production ... in China," wrote analysts at Commerzbank.

A stronger U.S. dollar also weighed on copper prices Friday. The WSJ Dollar Index, which gauges the dollar against 16 other currencies, was recently up 0.1% at 93.19. Copper is priced in dollars and becomes more expensive to foreign buyers when the greenback rises.

Copper is down more than 2% for the week. Analysts have attributed declines across base metals to profit-taking by speculators following a prolonged rally and the strength of the U.S. dollar, which makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Stephanie Yang contributed to this article

Write to Ed Ballard at ed.ballard@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 16, 2016 10:49 ET (15:49 GMT)

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