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Lead Traders Probably Closed Out Bets on Falling Prices on LME

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Lead traders probably closed out bets that prices will fall as the number of outstanding contracts declined while prices gained.

Open interest in London Metal Exchange lead futures fell by 5,762 lots to 146,469 lots in the week ended Nov. 16, with one lot equal to 25 metric tons, according to bourse data. Lead for delivery in three months, the benchmark, advanced 2.6 percent.

Falling open interest and rising prices suggest short covering, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. Short covering denotes purchases to close out bets on lower prices.

Following are changes to market open interest of both LME members and their clients, and compiled by the exchange, for the six biggest industrial metals futures traded on the bourse.

                 Change in Lots     % Price Change

Aluminum           -30,525               1.5
Copper             -22,623               1.4
Zinc               -13,514               1.3
Lead                -5,762               2.6
Nickel              -2,403               0.5
Tin                   -746              -1.4

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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