SHANGHAI, Mar. 22 (SMM) -- The turmoil in the Middle East, tightening measures in China, and the uncertainties in Japan's nuclear power plant are posing major challenges for world's economic recovery. On March 21st, China Customs announced that China's imports of refined copper were down 28.24% on a yearly basis to 158,185 mt in February, and imports of scrap copper were down 11.17% on a yearly basis to 245,711 mt. Later, the US National Association of Realtors announced its existing home sales were at an annualized rate of 4.88 million units in February, below the consensus of 5.15 million units, 9.6% lower than last month, compared with the previous estimation of 4.0%. Meanwhile, home price also slipped to the lowest level in 9 years. The data indicated that demand outlook from China and the US, two major copper consumers, was not optimistic, which triggered sell-offs in the market. In response, LME copper prices were weighed to close at USD 9,405/mt, down by USD 105/mt or 1.1%.
During Monday's Asian trading hours, the US dollar index is expected to move between 75.2-75.5, and LME copper prices will fluctuate in the USD 9,380-9,520/mt range, and SHFE three-month copper contract prices will move between RMB 70,500-71,400/mt.
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