SHANGHAI, Mar. 17 (SMM) – On March 16th, market focus remained on Japan's massive earthquake and its nuclear power plants. During Asian trading hours, market risk aversion sentiment increased due to worries over uncertainties over Japan's nuclear power plants, and market investors were reassessing the short and long-term impact on base metal demand from Japan's devastating quake. As declines were believed to be overdone, investors entered the market after LME copper prices slid below USD 9,000/mt, helping LME copper prices in electronic trading reach USD 9,382/mt. However, the US housing starts reported the largest decline in 27 years in February. Meanwhile, Moody's downgraded Portugal’s credit rating by two notches, sending US equities lower sharply, with the major three indexes down nearly 2%. In this context, LME copper prices narrowed its earlier gains, and closed at USD 9,260/mt, up USD 142/mt, standing above the 5-day moving averages.
During Thursday's Asian trading hours, the US dollar index is expected to move between 76.4-77.7, and LME copper prices will fluctuate in the USD 9,150-9,300/mt range, and SHFE three-month copper contract prices will move between RMB 69,500-70,300/mt.
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