It’s probably fair to say that it’s been a year of expected market fluctuations, most notably the strength of the Australian Dollar. As we have said previously, high exchange rates are fantastic if you are an importer or if you are planning overseas travel, however if you are exporting out of Australia (such as a scrap metal trader) of if you are a manufacturing company competing against imports, the high dollar is certainly not as welcome. The average HSRA (Hedge Settlement Rate) for the year currently stands around 1.036, and was officially reported at 1.05585 yesterday. While many analysts would say the current rate is too high for the Aussie, as it’s only 2c above the average, this is a rate that we can possibly expect to as we head into 2013. It also worth noting the throughout the year the HSRA fell below parity for only the period May 15- June 14.

**** LME Metals Slightly Lower; Range Trade Seen **** By Francesca Freeman @

1016 GMT [Dow Jones] Base metals are a little lower on the LME, trading in a tight range as investors tread cautiously amid persistent concerns over the US fiscal cliff. LME 3-month copper is 0.2% lower at $8,052.25/oz. The complex is likely to trade sideways unless US and Chinese physical buyers stop buying on a hand-to-mouth basis and start restocking, says William Adams of

**** LME Base Metals Mixed In Tight Ranges; Look For Cues **** By Arpan Mukherjee

0236 GMT [Dow Jones] LME base metals are trading mixed in tight ranges while looking for direction. Based on technical indicators, Barclays says in a report that the medium-term outlook on copper and aluminum remains bearish; “we look for copper to move lower in range toward out targets in the $7,900/ton area.” In aluminum, the bank expects upticks to fade near $2,210-$2,250/ton and price to move toward $2,045-$2,075/ton. LME three-month copper is at $8,075/ton, up $10 and aluminum is at $2,123.50/ton, up $1.50, while nickel is unchanged at $17,850/ton, and tin is at $23,100/ton, down $25 from its previous close.

**** Some Christmas facts ****

1. XMAS – In Greek, X means Christ; that is where the word “Xmas” comes from!
2. Christmas World Records – The world’s largest Christmas present was the Statue of Liberty. The French gave it to the US in 1886. It is 46.5 meters high and weights 225 tons!
3. “Green” Christmas – It can take up to 15 years to grow an average-sized tree of 6-7 feet or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7!
4. Christmas Songs – Bing Crosby ‘s ‘White Christmas’ was released in 1942 and is considered to be the best-selling Christmas song of all time!
5. What do you call a snowman in summer? A puddle.

**** Christmas Statistics ****

• 1 in 10 – The number of the presents received that will be broken by the New Year
• 7 in 10 – The number of dogs that get Christmas gifts from their owners
• 33 – The average amount spent per person on last-minute purchases
• 25 – The percentage time spent in queues when Christmas shopping
• 832 – The number of homes Santa visits every second to deliver all his presents
• 5340 – Average number of times Visa Cards are used every minute during Christmas time

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