SHANGHAI, Mar. 28 (SMM)–In the early US and European trading session Tuesday, China announced profits of the nationwide industrial enterprises above designated size fell by 5.2% YoY during the January-February period in 2012, the first drop since September 2009. Meanwhile, some market insiders said there are currently more than 1 million mt commercial refined copper inventories in China, the highest since 2009, a sign that Chinese copper demand remains slack. LME copper prices thus experienced a wave of declines along with low market sentiment, down as low as USD 8,477/mt in the session. Later, the US announced the lower-than-expected Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in March, which caused US equity markets to close down. As a consequence, LME copper prices kept weak and finally settled at USD 8,526/mt. In other news, spot copper inventories in London were reported to increase overnight, a rare occurrence recently.
LME copper prices met resistance to move higher at USD 8,500/mt this morning, and selling pressures prevail. Hence, LME copper prices will move between USD 8,450-8,570/mt during Wednesday's Asian trading session. Chinese stock markets will continue to move under pressures. SHFE copper prices will keep fluctuating after a slightly down open, and SHFE 1206 copper contract prices will lurch in the RMB 60,300-60,800/mt range. Spot copper discounts are likely to stabilize between negative RMB 350-250/mt versus SHFE 1204 copper contracts.