Base metals are mixed on the LME, lacking much direction as investors await a batch of trade data from China this week. “There’s a bit of caution in the market because we’ve got some influential Chinese trade data coming out soon,” says Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar. Chinese import and export data are due Thursday, while a reading on Chinese industrial production in July is scheduled for Friday. “What’s also spooking the market across the board is the commentary in the last 24 hours that various Federal Reserve officials are warming to the idea of easing off the quantitative easing pedals sooner rather than later,” he says. LME 3-month copper -0.4% at $6,980/ton.