SHANGHAI, Jan. 11 (SMM) –SHFE 1203 copper contract prices, the most active one, opened up slightly by RMB 330/mt at RMB 55,680/mt Tuesday. After the opening, SHFE three-month copper contract prices continued to slide owing to prevailing resistance, testing support at the 20-day moving average and touching a low of RMB 55,110/mt. Near the midday, China announced the country’s exports of unwrought copper and copper semis for December 2011 reached to a record monthly high, lifting SHFE three-month copper contract prices. In the afternoon session, as LME copper prices broke out USD 7,600/mt, and as Chinese stock markets surged by 3%, SHFE three-month copper contract prices rose rapidly to above RMB 56,000/mt, with an intraday high at RMB 56,130/mt. However, owing to bargain hunting by short investors at this price mark, SHFE three-month copper contract prices lacked upward momentum and narrowly fluctuated below it. At the tail of trading, short-term investors closed positions on a large scale, causing SHFE copper prices to give up earlier gains. Finally, SHFE 1203 copper contract prices closed at RMB 55,870/mt, up RMB 520/mt or 0.94%. Positions for SHFE 1203 copper contracts were down 8,678 lots, and trading volumes were down 38,890 lots. As long investors lacked interest in keeping up rising prices, SHFE copper prices were still facing resistance at RMB 56,000/mt.
In the spot market, although SHFE copper prices moved lower after a high open, copper discounts expanded all the way since cargo-holders eagerly sought to move goods. Mainstream offers were reported between discounts of negative RMB 150/mt and premiums of positive RMB 20/mt in the morning business. Traded prices for standard-quality copper were between RMB 55,100-55,200/mt, and RMB 55,150-55,350/mt for high-quality copper. Buying interest from both speculators and downstream producers was limited, resulting in sluggish market activity. In the afternoon session, as SHFE copper prices rose, spot copper offers were quoted at discounts across the board, between negative RMB 220-80/mt. However, traded prices increased to between RMB 55,400-55,700/mt in the afternoon business, which caused market activity to become more quiescent.