SHANGHAI, Feb. 13 (SMM) –The US and European markets continued to absorb China's soft import and export data last Friday, causing LME copper prices to extend fluctuations in the early trading session. In the evening, Greece's private creditors reached a debt-swap deal, and the country promised to accept severe austerity measures. However, members of the right-wing party expressed unwillingness in accepting these measures which are conditions for securing the 130-euro-bailout funds to avoid the March default, which ignited a round of profit-taking for LME copper. The declining euro also depressed LME copper prices, which lost USD 8,600/mt and 8,500/mt before finally ending at USD 8,472/mt, down more than 3%, and surrendering all the previous day's gains.
Greek lawyers approved the harsh austerity measures in a vote this morning for the second bailout package, which will lift Asian markets somehow. Nevertheless, Standard & Poor's cut credit ratings for 34 Italian banks, exerting some pressures to copper markets. Therefore, LME copper prices will move between USD 8,480-8,620/mt during Monday's Asian trading session. Chinese equities are unlikely to move higher and are expected to struggle further at above 2,300 points. SHFE copper prices will track LME copper prices to open slightly higher, and then fluctuate, while SHFE 1205 copper contract prices will move in the RMB 61,400-62,600/mt band. Spot copper discounts are estimated between negative RMB 150-50/mt versus SHFE 1202 copper contracts.