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Nickel Leads Metals Lower Before Possible U.S. Cuts: LME Preview

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Nickel led industrial metals lower on speculation automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1 will damage the U.S. economy.

Market News:

-- Asian stocks and U.K. equity index futures fell on concern Italy’s elections will lead to renewed turmoil in European markets. A gauge of dollar strength rose for a fifth day and oil declined. {NSN MITDES0D9L35 <go>}

-- Italy’s inconclusive election triggered renewed market jitters over Europe’s debt crisis as recession-scarred voters repudiated budget rigor and established former comedian Beppe Grillo as a political force. {NSN MISY496KLVSE <go>}

-- Led by the dollar, there isn’t a measure of money in the U.S. that is forecasting worse times ahead as lawmakers voice alarm that the automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin March 1 may damage the economy. {NSN MITBP46JTSEP <go>}

-- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to rescue the economy could result in more than a half trillion dollars of paper losses on the central bank’s books if interest rates rise abruptly from recent levels. {NSN MIT4XS0UQVI9 <go>}

-- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said he wants to continue central bank asset purchases through the end of this year to help improve the job market. {NSN MIT3EP6KLVS0 <go>}

Metals News:

-- Rio Tinto Group’s crucial meeting with Mongolia tomorrow follows weeks of disputes over control of the world’s biggest copper and gold mine under construction, according to two people familiar with the situation. {NSN MIT8AF6S972S <go>}

-- China, primed by government spending to boost growth, will need enough copper every month to circle the globe more than 100 times. {NSN MITDN50YHQ0X <go>}

-- While $17 billion of lost market capitalization has cost CME Group Inc. the title of world’s most valuable exchange owner, its stock commands a valuation that would make buying Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG a bargain. {NSN MIT6VU6S9729 <go>}

-- Japan’s output of copper and copper-alloy fabricated products declined 5.3 percent in January from a year earlier, slumping for a third month as demand from the automotive sector remained subdued, an industry group said. {NSN MIT4MP0D9L35 <go>}

-- Iron ore, trading near 16-month highs, may slump 54 percent to the lowest level since 2009 as China boosts production and global supply climbs, said UBS AG. {NSN MITCJY6JTSEF <go>}

-- One global aluminum smelting company asked two buyers in Japan, Asia’s biggest importer, for a 6.3 percent increase in the premium they pay over London Metal Exchange prices, three executives directly involved in the negotiations said. {NSN MIT3FT6KLVS0 <go>}

Metals Prices:

-- Copper slipped 0.1 percent at $7,824.75 a metric at 7:18
a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Relative strength index 34.
-- Aluminum retreated 0.5 percent to $2,026 a ton. RSI 36.
-- Nickel declined 0.7 percent to $16,588 a ton. RSI 33.
-- Lead dropped 0.5 percent to $2,281.75 a ton. RSI 36.
-- Tin was down 0.1 percent at $23,126 a ton. RSI 27.
-- Zinc fell 0.4 percent to $2,080 a ton. RSI 39.

Other markets:         Last          % Change   % YTD

U.S. Dollar Index     81.79            0.2        2.5
Crude Oil            $92.45           -0.7        0.7
Gold              $1,592.14           -0.1       -4.9
MSCI World Index   1,389.46           -0.1        3.8

Economic Events:
                                    Survey    Prior      Time

US House Price Index                 0.6%      0.6%     14:00
US Richmond Fed Manuf. Index        -4       -12        15:00
US Consumer Confidence              62.0       58.6     15:00
US New Home Sales                    3.0%      -7.3%    15:00

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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