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Copper prices jump as EU fears subside

By Michael Bellart (Global Times)

13:36, September 07, 2012

Chinese commodity futures were volatile Thursday, with sharp gains in the base and precious metals and considerable declines in soybeans and edible oils.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) added 0.88 percent to close at 56,220 yuan ($8,776) per ton. The December contract opened 1.02 percent above Wednesday's closing price, chasing gains on the London Metal Exchange (LME) overnight.

The three-month LME copper contract rose 1.5 percent after the Chinese mainland markets closed Wednesday. The increase followed wire reports on the European Central Bank's (ECB) plan to buy the sovereign bonds of its troubled member states, according to commodities analysts from the Australian bank ANZ.

Although the reports differed on the details, the news showed the ECB President Mario Draghi was taking more substantial measures to allay the sovereign debt crisis that has undermined confidence in global financial markets.

"At the minimum, we expect Draghi to deliver a reasonable work in progress report, with full details required before October when Spain is expected to return to capital markets in a significant way and will likely be under pressure to seek assistance," the ANZ analysts wrote Thursday.

Other SHFE base metals outperformed copper, with the December zinc contract jumping 1.18 percent Thursday. Meanwhile, November lead added 1.41 percent and December aluminum rose 0.9 percent. SHFE gold got a boost from the ECB news. The December contract added 0.7 percent to close at 352.60 yuan per gram.

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