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Comex Copper Slips On Renewed Greece Worry

Industry News 08:49:54AM Feb 07, 2012 Source:SMM

Feb 06, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures eased on Monday, as fresh concerns about Greece's progress in combating its debt crisis spurred investors to cash out of the growth-sensitive metal.

The most actively traded copper contract, for March delivery, fell 3.7 cents, or 1%, to settle at $3.8645 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper prices this year have pushed higher despite worries that Greece or other debt-laden, euro-zone countries could still strain the global financial system. Benchmark copper futures through Monday's close were up 12% so far this year, as investors bet that signs of steady growth in the U.S. and China would outweigh the drag from Europe's debt crisis.

But stalled talks among Greek political leaders on fiscal austerity measures made investors wary of holding copper and other commodities on Monday. The country needs to implement another round of budget-cutting measures to secure its international financial backstop.

"There are certainly still question marks over the rally" in metals so far this year, said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst with Barclays Capital, citing doubts about the trajectory of near-term demand from top consumer China.

The currency union's debt crisis and signs of a growth slowdown in China weighed on copper prices late last year, helping send futures to a 23% decline in 2011. Copper is used in plumbing, appliances and automobiles, making prices sensitive to shifts in the economic outlook.

This week's developments "raise concern over the fragility of (Europe's) metal demand," said Marc Ground, an analyst with Standard Bank, in a note.

The dollar on Monday climbed against the euro as investors sought a haven, providing a headwind to dollar-denominated copper by making the futures appear more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

While Greece was expected to push through another set of austerity measures and secure implementation of a debt restructuring with private creditors, the slow pace of progress there has damped the enthusiasm investors showed last week for copper.

"One danger in all this is that the longer the issue drags on, the harder it will be to reassure the markets that progress is being made," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Mar $3.8645; down 3.7 cents; Range $3.8280-$3.9020
Apr $3.8715; down 3.7 cents; Range $3.8585-$3.8800
 

Key Words:  Comex copper  

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Comex Copper Slips On Renewed Greece Worry

Industry News 08:49:54AM Feb 07, 2012 Source:SMM

Feb 06, 2012 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Copper futures eased on Monday, as fresh concerns about Greece's progress in combating its debt crisis spurred investors to cash out of the growth-sensitive metal.

The most actively traded copper contract, for March delivery, fell 3.7 cents, or 1%, to settle at $3.8645 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper prices this year have pushed higher despite worries that Greece or other debt-laden, euro-zone countries could still strain the global financial system. Benchmark copper futures through Monday's close were up 12% so far this year, as investors bet that signs of steady growth in the U.S. and China would outweigh the drag from Europe's debt crisis.

But stalled talks among Greek political leaders on fiscal austerity measures made investors wary of holding copper and other commodities on Monday. The country needs to implement another round of budget-cutting measures to secure its international financial backstop.

"There are certainly still question marks over the rally" in metals so far this year, said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst with Barclays Capital, citing doubts about the trajectory of near-term demand from top consumer China.

The currency union's debt crisis and signs of a growth slowdown in China weighed on copper prices late last year, helping send futures to a 23% decline in 2011. Copper is used in plumbing, appliances and automobiles, making prices sensitive to shifts in the economic outlook.

This week's developments "raise concern over the fragility of (Europe's) metal demand," said Marc Ground, an analyst with Standard Bank, in a note.

The dollar on Monday climbed against the euro as investors sought a haven, providing a headwind to dollar-denominated copper by making the futures appear more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

While Greece was expected to push through another set of austerity measures and secure implementation of a debt restructuring with private creditors, the slow pace of progress there has damped the enthusiasm investors showed last week for copper.

"One danger in all this is that the longer the issue drags on, the harder it will be to reassure the markets that progress is being made," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Mar $3.8645; down 3.7 cents; Range $3.8280-$3.9020
Apr $3.8715; down 3.7 cents; Range $3.8585-$3.8800
 

Key Words:  Comex copper