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Trade slowdown sinks SHFE base metals

By Michael Bellart  (Global Times)

08:18, August 17, 2012

Chinese base metals fell Thursday as comments from the Ministry of Commerce overrode heightened expectations for additional monetary stimulus from the People's Bank of China.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), for December delivery, lost 0.51 percent to close at 54,210 yuan ($8,512.65) per ton. The contract fell through the afternoon after opening 0.22 percent above Wednesday's closing price.

The ministry announced its pessimistic trade outlook for 2012, primarily due to the EU's struggling economy, at a press conference Thursday to disclose the latest foreign direct investment data, Reuters reported.

The announcement took more of a toll on other base metals futures. The SHFE aluminum contract for November delivery lost 0.94 percent to close at 15,200 yuan per ton.

SHFE zinc for December delivery plunged 1.6 percent to 14,390 yuan per ton.

The metal, which is used to galvanize steel, fell on news of excess supply that will weigh on prices for the next few months, Reuters reported. "Zinc fell more than other metals, pressured by overproduction and weak downstream orders in China," an unnamed Shanghai-based trader told the news agency.

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