Mar 15, 2011 (The Times of Zambia/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Copper prices steadied by the close of Friday, recovering from an earlier three-month low, as investors re-assessed the likely fallout from Japan's massive earthquake.
According to Reuters Africa, copper prices which dropped by 10 per cent last just last week, saw it trade on the London Metal Exchange (LME) at US$9,260 per tonne, while three-month delivery was at US$9,190 per tonne.
The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck the northeast coast of Japan, the world's third largest economy, triggered a tsunami that saw copper refineries, power plants, oil refiners and ports shut down.
Japan's two major copper smelters shut down operations due to power outages, raising concerns about copper supply disruptions and since the impact of the quake stretched to Chile, the world largest copper producer, three big ports were expected to halt activities on Friday.
For the local money market, the kwacha continued weakening against the United States dollar to close trading on Friday at K4750.70 from its K4730.50 opening levels.
The Corporate front was fairly subdued and it was inter bank dollar buying that caused the kwacha to weaken.
The Standard Chartered Bank daily money brief said the in the absence of any lined up corporate trades, it expected the currency pair to trade at the back of dollar strength as debt worries in the Euro zone market take centre stage, which might cause the kwacha to come under some strain.
The Kwacha's weakest level was expected to be capped at K4800.