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Copper prices retreat on EU debt concerns

By Michael Bellart (Global Times)

09:45, August 09, 2012

Chinese commodity prices edged lower Wednesday as the market lost its appetite for risk, causing metal futures to give back overnight gains.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) finished even with Tuesday's closing price of 54,700 yuan ($8,597.38) per ton. The November contract fell over the course of the session after opening up 0.73 percent.

The contract followed the downturn in the benchmark copper contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) Wednesday. The three-month LME copper contract was trading at $7,515 per ton when the Chinese mainland markets closed, down 1 percent.

Once again, Europe drove the markets for commodities sensitive to the global economy, such as copper. Asian financial markets backpedaled Wednesday on news that Spain would not seek EU financial aid if lenders attached additional conditions to the bailout funds, according to analysts from the Australian bank ANZ.

Some traders might have also cut investments in copper ahead of the release of key economic data Thursday and Friday from China, the world's top consumer of the metal.

"Chinese macroeconomic data will be the main influence on the market for the rest of the week as it seeks to gain some indication of the direction of the Chinese economy," ANZ analysts wrote Wednesday.

Crude oil and copper futures rallied over Tuesday night after the president of the US Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reiterated calls for addition measures to ease monetary policy, Reuters reported.

The president said the US central bank should launch another bond buying program to help the economy recover, according to Reuters.

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