U.S. Commodities Day Ahead: Copper and Gold Drop, Cocoa Gains

The following are the top stories on metals, agriculture and shipping.

ECONOMIC EVENTS:

                                      Forecast  Prior    Time
                                                          (N.Y.)
S&P/Case Shiller Home Prices          -0.8%      -0.99%     0900
Consumer Confidence                   54.0       52.5       1000
Richmond Fed Manufac. Index           22         25         1000

METAL PRICES ($/TON):
                 Last  % Chg RSI
Copper          9,300   -2.4  48
Aluminum        2,375   -1.6  41
Zinc            2,242   -2.6  36
Lead            2,342   -2.6  35
Nickel         25,626   -2.0  56
Tin            28,000   -0.3  70

Other Markets:
                       Last  % Chg % YTD
U.S. Dollar Index    78.137   +0.1  -0.1
Crude Oil            $86.58   -1.5   +15
Gold               $1,325.9   -0.6   +21
MSCI World Index   1,311.45   -0.1   +14

COMMODITY EXCLUSIVES:

Anthony Ward’s CC+ Cocoa, Coffee Fund Advances by 14.7% in 2010

The CC+ Fund, one of five run by Anthony Ward’s Armajaro Asset Management LLP, climbed 14.7 percent last year, according to a monthly report to clients. That beat the industry average.

Coal India to Increase Spending 17% to $923 Million (Update1)

Coal India Ltd., the world’s largest producer of the fuel, plans to increase spending by 17 percent to 42.2 billion rupees ($923 million) in the year starting April 1 as the company seeks to expand production.

India to Build $3 Billion Steel Plant in Indonesia, Buy Coal

India plans to invest $3 billion to build a steel plant in Indonesia and buy coal from the Southeast Asian nation as part of an initial accord.

INDUSTRIAL METALS:

London Metal Exchange Electronic Trading Halted, Spokesman Says

London Metal Exchange electronic trading was halted, spokesman Stephen White said by phone.

Copper Falls in London as India’s Rate Increase May Slow Demand

Copper declined for the first day in three after India raised interest rates, heightening speculation that metals demand may slow as developing countries seek to contain inflation.

Copper May Decline to $9,000 on Sell Signal: Technical Analysis

Copper will probably drop to around $9,000 a metric ton before resuming its advance to a record, said Wang Yaoyao, a technical analyst at Huawen Futures Co.

Ferrochrome Price May Rise in Second Quarter, IFM Chief Says

International Ferro Metals Ltd. Chief Executive Officer David Kovarsky is “cautiously optimistic” ferrochrome prices will rise in the second quarter compared with the first quarter.

Zinc Heads for Longest Slump in More Than 20 Years on Oversupply

Zinc in London tumbled for a ninth day, heading for the longest slump since at least 1989, on speculation that further measures to curb rising asset prices in China may reduce demand amid record inventories in the world’s largest consumer of the metal.

Steel Futures in Shanghai Gain to Record as Iron-Ore Costs Rise

Steel futures in Shanghai jumped to a record after iron-ore prices surged to a nine-month high, with buyers in China stockpiling the raw material in anticipation of a shortfall in supplies.

MINING:

First Quantum Invests $1 Billion in Zambia Copper Mine (Update1)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. will invest $1 billion to build a new copper mine in Zambia, the company’s president, Clive Newall, told reporters today in Lusaka, the capital.

Sesa Goa Expects Karnataka Iron Ore Ban to Be Lifted Next Month

Sesa Goa Ltd., India’s biggest iron- ore exporter, expects the ban on overseas sales of the steelmaking raw material from the southern state of Karnataka to be lifted next month, Managing Director P.K. Mukherjee said in a post-earnings conference call today. Demand for iron is “strong” and prices are rising, he said.

Peabody Says Most Australian Coal Mines Returning to Full Output

Peabody Energy Corp.’s coal mines in Queensland are ramping up to “near full production” after floods disrupted output in the Australian state, spokeswoman Jennifer Morgans said in a telephone interview.

PRECIOUS METALS:

Gold Drops to 3-Month Low as Investor Demand, ETP Assets Fall

Gold declined to the lowest level in almost three months in London as demand for a protection of wealth waned and as holdings in exchange-traded products fell. Other precious metals slipped.

ICBC Says Starts Trial Paper Platinum Trading in Several Cities

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd has started trial trading of so-called paper platinum in several cities, the bank said in an e-mailed statement today. The cities include Tianjin, Qingdao, Jinan, it said.

AGRICULTURE:

McDonald’s Prices May Jump as Beef Costs Gain: Chart of the Day

McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, may boost prices as beef costs are forecast to surge to the highest since 2003, according to Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage in Chicago.

Russia Black Sea Wheat ‘Struggling’ With Drought, Martell Says

Russia’s wheat-growing areas in the Black Sea region are “struggling” with dry conditions that may weigh on yields, Martell Crop Projections said.

Ivory Coast’s Ouattara to Let Already Taxed Cocoa to Be Shipped

Cocoa beans that have been registered for export in Ivory Coast and taxed can be shipped out of the country, a spokesman for the government of president- elect, Alassane Ouattara.

Palm Oil Futures End Five-Day Rally on China Policy Speculation

Palm oil declined the most in two weeks, ending a five-day rally, on speculation that further steps to cool prices in China may damp demand for commodities.

Cotton Futures Decline in New York Trading, Erasing Earlier Gain

Cotton futures fell 1.4 percent to $1.597 a pound by 11:03 a.m. London time on ICE Futures U.S., erasing an earlier gain to a record $1.6384 a pound.

South African Corn Planting May Drop 6.1% in 2011, Survey Says

South African corn plantings may drop 6.1 percent this year, a survey showed.

Cocoa Advances for a Sixth Day as Ivory Coast Bans Exports

Cocoa rose for a sixth day in London, the longest streak since May, on speculation that supply may be interrupted after the president-elect of Ivory Coast banned exports for a month.

Wheat Drops as Rally to Five-Month High Damps Investment Demand

Wheat fell for the first day in six in Chicago on speculation that a rally to a five-month high will reduce demand from investors. Corn and soybeans also dropped.

SHIPPING:

Middle East Tanker Surplus Swells for Third Time in Four Weeks

A surplus of supertankers competing for 2 million-barrel cargoes of Middle East crude oil increased for the third time in four weeks, weighing on vessel owners’ efforts to raise charter rates.

ECONOMIES:

Lowest BRIC Yields Show Inflation Fight Optimism: China Credit

China’s 10-year bonds beat debt issued by the rest of the BRIC nations in the past two months, reflecting confidence in policy makers’ ability to sustain the fastest economic growth and slowest inflation of the group.

American Market Preferred in Global Poll Showing New Confidence

Global investors are taking more risks with their money and targeting the U.S. as one of the best places to put their funds as they grow increasingly confident in the economic outlook.

U.K. Economy Unexpectedly Shrinks in Winter Freeze (Update3)

Britain’s economy unexpectedly shrank the most in more than a year in the fourth quarter as construction slumped and the coldest December in a century hampered services and retailing.

IMF Raises 2011 GDP Estimates on Stronger U.S. Growth (Update1)

The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global economic growth this year, reflecting stronger U.S. output based on tax-cut extensions, while emerging nations lead the recovery.

India Raises Rates to Two-Year High to Slow Inflation (Update1)

India’s central bank increased the benchmark interest rate to a two-year high and signaled further gains in borrowing costs as it raised the inflation forecast.

OTHER MARKETS:

Stocks, Pound Fall, Gilts Rise as U.K. GDP Shrinks; Metals Drop

Stocks fell, the pound weakened the most in a month and gilts rallied after the U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter and concern deepened Spanish banks will need more capital. U.S. index futures declined and commodities retreated.

Asian Stocks, Won Gain as Gold Falls on Outlook for Recovery

Asian stocks advanced, erasing the benchmark index’s losses this year, and South Korea’s won rose while gold fell as investor confidence in the global recovery increased. Crude fell after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister signaled OPEC may bolster production to meet rising fuel demand.

European Stocks Drop as U.K. Economy Shrinks, Spanish Banks Fall

European stocks and U.S. futures fell after Britain’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter, while banks tumbled as plans to strengthen Spanish lenders failed to calm investors’ concerns. Asian shares rose.

Emerging Stocks Fall, Reverse Gains, on U.K. Economy, India Rate

Emerging-market stocks erased earlier gains as British economic growth missed forecasts and India’s central bank raised interest rates.

SPORTS:

Tottenham Wants to Sign Everton’s Neville, Mirror Says: Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

London Olympics Organizer Postpones Decision on Stadium Future

An organizer of the 2012 London Olympics has postponed a decision on proposals from two Premier League soccer clubs looking to take over the Games stadium.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace in London at swallace6@bloomberg.net

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