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April 14, 2011    

Copper prices send London miners lower

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by Elaine Frei
Copper prices send London miners lower

Miners were lower in London trade Thursday as copper prices fell again on concerns that rising inflation could lead China to hike interest rates again, which could cut demand for the metal used in construction and manufacturing in the Asian nation, which is the world’s biggest consumer of copper.

The FTSE 100 was 0.5 percent lower to 1,129.59 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.11 percent to 11,603.2.

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) led declines in the sector as it dropped 3.63 percent, and there were only six gainers in the sector, while most in the energy sector also declined, consumer goods manufacturers were lower, banks declined and retailers were mixed.

Equities markets around Europe were also lower on concerns that Greece and Portugal could have to reschedule debt payments, and on data from the US showing that first-time jobless claims and producer prices both increased there in the latest figures.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.5 percent to 1,129.59 while the Dax fell 0.44 percent to 7,146.56, the CAC-40 was 0.89 percent lower to 3,970.39 and the IBEX dropped 1.51 percent to 10,622.7.

Markets were mixed in Asia and the Pacific region.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.13 percent higher to 9,653.92 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.25 percent to 846.72 and the Mothers market gained 0.8 percent to 433.7, with chemicals groups higher after Shin Etsu Chemical Co (TYO: 4063) reportedly said that it will resume production at a factory in Fukushima prefecture by the end of the month, while some carmakers were higher after it said it will get two factories back in production at the beginning of next week.

Other gainers in the region included Taiwan’s Taiex, which was up 0.26 percent to 8,802.73, while the Kospi added 0.9 percent to 2,141.06 in South Korea, but the Shanghai Composite was 0.25 percent lower, dropping to 3,042.64, while the Straits Times Index was 0.41 percent lower to 3,158.92 in Singapore, the Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 24,014 in Hong Kong, and Australia’s markets were lower as the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.54 percent to 4,972.4 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.55 percent to 4,884.2.

India’s markets were closed in observance of the birthday of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, an early leader in the campaign against discrimination on the basis of caste there.

New York equities markets declined, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.05 percent to 12,265.2 in midday trade, while at the same time the S&P 500 had dropped 0.18 percent to 1,312.07 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.4 percent lower to 2,750.51, with markets hurt by the new data on unemployment claims and producer prices.

Crude oil prices were mixed, with West Texas Intermediate crude up nearly $1 in New York, while Brent crude was last reported slightly lower in London, while among metals gold and silver were higher in New York trade but copper prices were lower again.

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