Copper prices declined on Thursday, as traders braced for the outcome of the European Central Bank meeting later in the day, at which it is widely expected to unveil a government bond-buying program. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for March delivery slumped 2.5 cents, or 0.96%, to trade at $2.587 a pound during European morning hours. A day earlier, copper tacked on 1.8 cents, or 0.71%, to settle at $2.612 a pound. Copper hit $2.423 on January 14, a level not seen since June 2009. Futures were likely to find support at the $2.532, the low from January 21, and resistance at $2.636, the high from January 20. The euro remained under pressure amid mounting expectations that the ECB will embark on an outright quantitative easing program at its meeting later Thursday, in a bid to stave off the threat of deflation in the euro area. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1% to 92.92. The red metal is down approximately 10% so far in January as concerns over the global economic outlook and the impact on future demand prospects dampened the appeal of the commodity. The International Monetary Fund cut its 2015 global growth forecast to 3.5% from a previous estimate of 3.8% earlier in the week, citing slowing economies in China, Russia, the euro zone and Japan. Copper is sensitive to the economic growth outlook because of its widespread uses across industries. Elsewhere on the Comex, gold futures for February delivery shed $5.00, or 0.39%, to trade at $1,288.70 a troy ounce, while silver futures for March delivery dipped 6.6 cents, or 0.36% to trade at $18.12 an ounce. Gold is up 10% so far in 2015, while silver gained almost 15%, as investors sought safety from volatility in global financial markets. Later in the day, the U.S. was to release weekly data on initial jobless claims, as investors look for further indications on the strength of the economy.