**** MARKET TALK: Chinese Inflation Data Key For Metals (Dow Jones) ****

Feb 6 (Dow Jones) Economic growth in China is still the envy of much of the world, but early signs this year suggest the country’s metal-consuming engine has slowed. Copper prices have gained anyway, rising to levels last seen in September as investors bet the market’s late-2011 pessimism was overdone. The rally faces a major test this week in Thursday’s release of China’s January inflation data. “If you’re looking for a bullish metals story out of china, you really want to see that inflation moderate,” says Barclays Capital. Moderating inflation gives Beijing more flexibility to step in and support the economy.

**** DJ BASE METALS: Dollar, Greece Concerns Weigh On Comex Copper ****

Feb 6 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Copper futures slumped on Monday on concern that Greece’s contentious austerity talks heralded more economic turmoil for the euro zone.

Investors pared their holdings of growth-sensitive commodities and other perceived risky assets on Monday on the latest escalation of worries about debt-laden Greece. Government leaders there were struggling to come to an agreement on new budget-cutting measures, raising fears that the country could lose its internationally financed support if an agreement isn’t reached.

The developments “raise concern over the fragility of the region’s metal demand,” said Marc Ground, an analyst with Standard Bank, in a note.



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