SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) –The 9.0-magnitude quake that struck Japan Friday caused power plants, refineries and ports to be closed, exerting great pressure on base metal markets. Investors are now showing greater worries over negative impact on the economy than metal supply disruptions from the massive quake. Meanwhile, China's inflation figure in February added to market pessimism. In addition, market concerns over further tightening measures in China from high inflation and Portugal's possible action to ask aid from IMF intensified market negative outlook for base metals. In this context, LME copper prices in electronic trading briefly tumbled 10%, and slid below USD 9,000/mt, down as low as USD 8,992/mt. However, a 0.6% drop of the US dollar index later supported copper prices. Meanwhile, investors reassessed the impact from Japan's quake. Hence, LME copper prices closed largely flat with the opening prices, rebounding from an earlier 3-month low. Finally, LME copper prices finished lower USD 1/mt at USD 9,190/mt.
During Monday's Asian trading hours, the US dollar index is expected to move between 76.4-77.0, and LME copper prices will fluctuate in the USD 9,150-9,250/mt range, and SHFE three-month copper contract prices will move between RMB 68,800-69,900/mt.
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