SHANGHAI, Dec. 19 (SMM) –As LME copper prices closed with gains last Friday, SHFE 1203 copper contract prices opened slightly up by RMB 210/mt at RMB 53,990/mt Monday. SHFE three-month copper contract prices still struggled below RMB 54,000/mt, and reached a high at RMB 54,090/mt in the morning business. However, as Chinese stock markets slid and hit a new low for 2011, and as LME copper prices fell to around USD 7,200/mt, SHFE three-month copper contract prices moved lower after a high open, with prices directly testing support at RMB 53,000/mt before the midday. In the afternoon session, as short-term long inventors entered the market, SHFE three-month copper contract prices got support temporarily at the low-end and fluctuated narrowly around RMB 54,400/mt. At the tail of trading, SHFE three-month copper contract prices pared daily losses since the Shanghai Composite Index returned to the 2,200 point level. Finally, SHFE 1203 copper contract prices closed at RMB 53,580/mt, down RMB 200/mt or 0.37%. Positions for SHFE 1203 copper contracts were up 27,992 lots, and trading volumes were up 121,000 lots. Owing to dampened market sentiment stemming from falling Chinese stock markets and resistance at RMB 54,000/mt, SHFE copper prices are likely to move lower to look for support.