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SHFE copper ends near even, markets await policy support

By Michael Bellart  (Global Times)

13:08, August 21, 2012

Domestic commodity futures were steady Monday after an anticipated policy move by China's central bank failed to materialize over the weekend, leaving the market searching for direction.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) fell 0.05 percent to close at 54,630 yuan ($8,589.25) per ton. The contract crept lower over Monday's session after opening 0.24 percent above Friday's closing price, following a dip on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

The three-month LME copper contract was trading at $7,484.50 per ton, down 0.7 percent when mainland markets closed Monday.

SHFE base metals traded in a narrow range Monday, showing a lack of market direction.

"Base metals prices fell due to a lack of positive news over the weekend - no Chinese bank reserve ratio cut, no fresh policies out of the euro zone, nothing to cheer about," CIFCO Futures analyst Zhou Jie told Reuters.

Precious metals showed a similar pattern with the most active SHFE gold contract tracked its US counterpart. The SHFE December gold contract slipped a fraction of a percent to close at 335.13 yuan per gram, recovering from a deeper opening loss. The Comex gold contract for December delivery rose 0.1 percent Monday before the mainland markets closed.

HSBC and Markit Economics will release their preliminary purchasing managers index for Chinese manufacturing in June later this week, which usually gives traders and investors a better idea about where the market is headed.

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