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Copper Falls in London as China’s Imports Decline: LME Preview

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Copper fell in London as imports of the metal into China, the world’s largest user, declined in December.

Market News:

-- China reported a less-than-forecast $13.1 billion trade surplus for December, bolstering the nation’s bargaining position ahead of a Jan. 19 meeting where U.S. President Barack Obama may press for more gains in the yuan. {NSN LESGBB0UQVI9 <GO>}

-- Asian stocks dropped, sending the MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index to its lowest intraday level in almost two weeks, on speculation central banks in China, India and Indonesia will raise rates to curb inflation. {NSN LESORB0D9L35 <GO>}

-- The euro traded near its lowest level in more than three months against the yen on concern European nations will struggle to raise funds, diminishing the allure of assets in the region. {NSN LESOMU0D9L35 <GO>}

-- Germany may be softening its opposition to expanding the 750 billion-euro ($966 billion) rescue facility for indebted euro nations as investors question Portugal’s ability to avoid tapping the fund. {NSN LERYKS07SXKX <GO>}

-- Retail sales probably climbed for a sixth month in December, a sign consumers are contributing more to the U.S. expansion even as the labor market struggles to accelerate, economists said before a report this week. {NSN LEOB2107SXKX <GO>}

Metals News:

-- Copper imports by China, the world’s largest consumer, declined in December, as buyers took advantage of lower domestic prices. {NSN LESMAL6TTDS0 <GO>}

-- At a time when analysts anticipate record profits for the biggest mining companies and a third year of gains in commodity prices, shipping lines carrying raw materials are set for the lowest freight rates since 2002. {NSN LERU7B1A1I4H <GO>}

-- Demand for silver in India, where imports of the metal surged more than sixfold in the first half of 2010, is increasing as investors seek an alternative to higher-priced gold, according to a trader. {NSN LESOLV6S9728 <GO>}

-- Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, may post its highest earnings in nine quarters after the commodity’s price neared levels last seen before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008. {NSN LERS4T6TTDS0 <GO>}

Metal Prices:

-- Copper fell $35, or 0.4 percent, to $9,380 a metric
ton by 7:46 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Relative Strength
Index 61.
-- Aluminum dropped 0.2 percent to $2,512 a ton. RSI 65.
-- Zinc declined 1.6 percent to $2,405 a ton. RSI 57.
-- Lead decreased 0.8 percent to $2,628 a ton. RSI 66.
-- Nickel was down 0.9 percent to $23,990 a ton. RSI 49.
-- Tin dropped 0.2 percent to $26,399 a ton. RSI 54.

Other markets:      Last           % Change   % YTD
U.S. Dollar Index   81.192             0.1      2.8
Crude oil           $88.76             0.8     -2.9
Gold               $1,374.10           0.3     -3.3
MSCI World Index    1,278.75          -0.2     -0.1

Economic Events:
                                    Forecast     Prior     Time
                                                        (London)

EC Sentix Investor Confidence        11.8         9.7      9:30

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@abloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter@bloomberg.net.

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