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Global copper prices dented by Asian demand outlook

By Michael Bellart (Global Times)

08:57, September 18, 2012

Chinese commodities futures fell broadly Monday as traders sold off some of their profits following Friday's rally, pointing to problems in global demand for economically sensitive commodities such as base metals despite the run-up in prices.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) finished down 0.91 percent at 59,820 yuan ($9,467) per ton, after rising 6.57 percent last week. The January contract opened a bit below even and fell gradually over the session.

The three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was trading 0.9 percent lower at $8,315 per ton when the Chinese mainland markets closed Monday.

Despite the recent rally on the back of the US Federal Reserve's decision to launch an estimated $600 billion round of monetary stimulus, copper demand from China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal, looked soft, along with the rest of Asia.

Inventories in Asia rose over the past week, according to commodities analysts from the Australian bank ANZ. LME copper stockpiles rose 0.6 percent with most of the inventory building up in South Korea's Busan warehouse.

In related news, China's National Energy Administration reported Friday that electricity consumption over the first eight months of the year grew 5.1 percent year-on-year to 3.28 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh), down from 5.4 percent over the same period in 2011, according to ANZ.

Electricity consumption is a key indicator of economic growth.

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