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In the Market Update this week, we have some very interesting news and also our usual market update. Morgan Parker found the first article which is almost James Bond sort of stuff which I’m sure you’ll find interesting;

**** World’s lightest material is made out of nickel ****

Scientists claim to have made the world’s lightest material—so light it can float on top of dandelion fluff—and they made it out of nickel.

The metal used matters less than the structure. The material, developed by researchers at HRL Laboratories, LLC, is made out of micro-lattices that maximize strength in relation to the amount of material used. The structure is actually 99.99% air.  Nickel was used by the researchers since it was the easiest material to work with.  The claim that it is the world’s lightest material has not been independently verified.

The Atlantic could not find the category in the Guinness Book of World Records.  “The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair,” said lead author Dr. Tobias Schaedler.  The material is so light, in fact, that it is 100 times lighter than styrofoam.  “This new material redefines the limits of lightweight materials because of its unique “micro-lattice” cellular architecture,” said HRL Laboratories in a statement.  Possible uses for the new material are battery electrodes, catalyst supports, and acoustic, vibration or shock energy damping.

Please also find the following article for your perusal;

**** Copper hits near one month low as debt woes spiral **** NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters)

Copper crumbled Monday to its lower level in nearly a month on mounting fears that heavy debt loads in Europe and the United States will hinder global economic growth, and with it, demand for industrial metals. At nearly 3 percent, it was the red metal’s biggest one-day loss in about three weeks as the deteriorating fiscal outlooks in the West prompted investors to cut their exposure in riskier assets and seek the safety of the dollar, which rallied sharply at the start of the week.

A U.S. congressional “super committee” was expected to concede failure in reaching a deal after three months of talks over taxes and spending to slash the deficit, sparking fears over growth prospects for the world’s largest economy. A warning from China’s vice premier on the global economy added further pressure to copper, whose reliance on China’s near 40-percent intake of the world’s demand, makes is more susceptible to the ups and downs of the Chinese economy, the world’s second largest. “We do not have a lot of risk on right now in industrial metals. We think that there is a high probability that things continue to worsen in Europe, and therefore the risk for base metals is clearly lower from here,” said Nic Johnson, who helps manage about $30 billion in commodities at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. “Europe will be the catalyst, but ultimately, it would spill over into the rest global economy.”

London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month copper plunged to a session trough at $7,252 per tonne, its lowest in nearly a month, before ending the day with a $215 loss, at $7,310. In New York, the key December COMEX contract dove 9.90 cents or by 2.9 percent, to settle at $3.3030 per lb, near the bottom of its $3.2720 to $3.4095 session range.

With sovereign debt problems in Europe and growing worries that U.S. policymakers will fail to agree on spending cuts, copper’s supportive fundamentals continued to take a backseat. “Copper is probably the single most (commodity) tied to the macro outlook and expectations, and people are using it as a hedge for their other risk positions,” PIMCO’s Johnson said. “One of the things that seem to be really common is for macro funds and others to buy puts and put spreads on copper in order to hedge their overall macro view of the world.” Some fresh puts were bought in the Jan 2012 futures contract today.

 



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