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METALS-Copper weakens on technical selling, dollar
March 14, 2012 / 3:17 AM / 6 years ago

METALS-Copper weakens on technical selling, dollar

* LME copper fails to breach $8,600 level
    * China demand picks up slowly, remains a concern
    * Indonesia's Koba Tin resumes loading
    * Coming up: U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks; 1400 GMT

 (Adds comment, details; updates prices)	
    By Rujun Shen	
    SINGAPORE, March 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices softened
on Wednesday under technical selling pressure after attempts to
break above a recent trading range failed, while a stronger
dollar also weighed on market sentiment.	
    London copper rallied to a one-week high of $8,608.75 in the
previous session on upbeat data from the United States and
Germany, which also helped push Wall Street to its highest level
since June 2008.  	
    The momentum faded after prices struggled to break above
$8,600, the top of a range copper has held this month, while
concerns lingered about high copper stocks and a weak recovery
in demand in China, the world's top consumer of the metal.	
    "Demand is recovering, but remains soft," Standard Chartered
said in a research note.	
    "Copper, aluminium, lead and zinc trading firms reported
increasing business flows since end-February, but at a very slow
pace. The magnitude of recovery is significantly lower than the
comparable period last year."	
    LME copper stocks MCUSTX-TOTAL fell 925 tonnes to 273,000
tonnes by March 12, the lowest since July 2009, while copper
stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange
CU-STX-SGH rose to a decade-high of 224,781 tonnes last week.	
    Shanghai copper remained at a discount of nearly 2,500 yuan
a tonne versus LME, making imports profitable.	
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell
0.9 percent to $8,482 a tonne by 0702 GMT.	
    The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange lost 0.8 percent to 60,530 yuan ($9,600) a
tonne.	
       	
    	
    
    Investors will be watching a speech by Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke later on Wednesday for clues to policy changes, after
the Fed acknowledged recent signs of recovery but refrained from
indicating it would take further monetary easing measures.
 	
    The dollar hit an 11-month high against the yen and 1-month
high on the euro, and held near a seven-week high against a
basket of currencies. 	
    The cautious tone regarding policy loosening in comments by
China Premier Wen Jiabao dampened expectations of imminent
policy easing for the property sector, a key copper consumer.
 	
    "Despite the fact that China has been on the path to loosen
its monetary policy by cutting the required reserves ratio, its
property market is saturated now," said a Singapore-based
trader.	
    "Copper will likely be stuck in a range until massive news
comes out and helps prices break either way, with a bigger
chance of breaking lower."	
    On the supply side, heavy rains in northern Chile have cut
off roads at No. 3 copper mine Collahuasi  and
Cerro Colorado, but operations have been little
affected, worker and company sources said on Tuesday.
 	
    LME tin fell 1 percent to $24,000 a tonne following
a rise of more than 3 percent on Tuesday, since Indonesia's Koba
Tin began loading a 280-tonne shipment after demonstrators
blocked the producer's exports this week over a pay dispute.
 	
    	
   Base metals prices at 0702 GMT
  Metal              Last       Change   Pct Move YTD pct chg
  LME Cu            8482.00    -78.00     -0.91     11.61
  SHFE CU FUT JUN2    60530      -510     -0.84      9.34
  HG COPPER MAY2     386.05     -4.20     -1.08     12.35
  LME Alum          2245.00    -13.00     -0.58     11.14
  SHFE AL FUT JUN2    16285       -25     -0.15      2.78
  LME Zinc          2087.75    -22.25     -1.05     13.16
  SHFE ZN FUT JUN2    15905      -145     -0.90      7.50
  LME Nickel       19375.00    -75.00     -0.39      3.55
  LME Lead          2141.00    -13.00     -0.60      5.21
  SHFE PB FUT      15920.00   -135.00     -0.84      4.15
  LME Tin          24000.00   -250.00     -1.03     25.00
  LME/Shanghai arb^    2512
   Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
   ^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
 ($1=6.3270 Chinese yuan)	
	
 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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