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With LME Markets shut on Friday and Monday, this morning we look toward the Asian markets and current exchange rates for indicators on current market conditions.

With Shanghai Copper currently on the decline and the Australian Dollar currently trading around 1.03, it will be interesting to see where the markets kick off tomorrow. At this stage, our prices remain firm as per last weeks price list.

**** LME Base Metals Likely Lower On Weaker Sentiment **** By Arpan Mukherjee @dowjones.com

2351 GMT [Dow Jones] LME base metals are expected to open lower on weaker sentiment as traders are likely to be disappointed after Fed Chairman Bernanke’s prepared speech overnight did not discuss the possibility of further stimulus measures for the U.S. economy. Markets have been hoping the Fed would embark on a third round of monetary easing to stimulate economic growth. Friday’s below-view U.S. jobs report and Monday’s higher-than-expected Chinese inflation reading are also likely to weigh on sentiment; the LME was closed Friday and Monday for holidays. China’s preliminary import and export data for March will also likely garner some interest, market participants say; the data is expected later in the global trading day.

**** DJ MARKET TALK: Australian Shares Open Lower, Down 1% Early **** By Gavin Lower @ dowjones.com

0039 GMT [Dow Jones] Australian shares open lower, following their U.S. peers down after employment data on Friday disappointed investors and cast doubt on the strength of the labor market. Chinese inflation data on Monday, which was higher than expected, also left investors wondering if authorities would keep relatively tight monetary conditions in place. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is down 1% at 4276.9 points, with all sectors weaker. Lower commodity prices are dragging on Australian miners, with BHP (BHP.AU) down 1%, Rio Tinto (RIO.AU) down 0.8%, Fortescue Metals (FMG.AU) down 1.4% and Newcrest Mining (NCM.AU) down 0.8%. Energy stocks are lower with Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AU) down 2.6%, Santos (STO.AU) down 1.6%, and Oil Search (OSH.AU) down 2.6%. Pay TV operator Austar (AUN.AU) is up 2.4% after Australia’s competition watchdog gave its nod of approval to Foxtel’s A$1.9 billion bid for the company.

 



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