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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
January 2, 2007

Copper prices drop 3.3 percent


by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices were down on Tuesday as mild weather continued in the northeast United States, cooling demand for heating oil. Brent crude was 46 cents lower to $60.40 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude was down 39 cents to $60.66 per barrel. Meanwhile, the price of heating oil was 1.1 cents lower to $1.6370 per gallon. Trade was light due to the closure of the New York Mercantile Exchange to all but electronic trading as Tuesday was declared a national day of mourning in honor of former President Gerald Ford, who died last week.

In the metals markets on Tuesday, gold added 0.6 percent to $640.30 per troy ounce. The precious metal was helped by weakness in the US dollar and heightened tensions after the president of Iran rejected UN sanctions against his nation in response to its continued nuclear program.

Base metals prices, however, were lower on the session. Aluminium dropped 0.6 percent to $2,785.5 per tonne, while tin was 1.2 percent lower to $11,375 per tonne. Copper prices fell 3.3 percent to $6,120 per tonne as London Metal Exchange inventories were up by 7,775 tonnes to 190,575 tonnes, its biggest stockpile since March 2004. In addition, worries about a threatened strike in Chile declined. The drop in the price of copper continued a trend begun in the last quarter of 2006, which saw copper prices decline by over 16 percent.

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