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With most manufacturing plants now back up and running, this will be the first week that we will get an accurate gauge as to where the market is at the moment, however with no substantial economic new to speak of, we expect markets to continue to remain steady throughout the week. With many plants having run their stocks down toward the end of last year, we may see some looking to replenish working stock, although without any strong economic data, this buying may remain bearish.

The Australian dollar continues to find support around 1.05, with the latest HSRA rate reported at 1.05325.

**** Physical Demand For Base Metals Elusive **** By Francesca Freeman @ dowjones.com

1425 GMT [Dow Jones] Despite a strong start to the year by the wider financial markets, there is little evidence of fresh physical demand for base metals, says Marex Spectron. “Doubts have already been raised about the accuracy of the latest Chinese export data [not least the apparent inconsistency with other Asian nations import data from China] and the anecdotal stories from base metal, coal and iron ore markets would suggest that exuberance is unwarranted,” Marex says. Additionally, in Marex’s view, U.S. monetary easing looks to have peaked, posing a headwind to growth-sensitive base metals, the brokerage says.

**** DJ MARKET TALK: Copper Gains Need Fundamental Support –Analyst **** By Francesca Freeman @ dowjones.com

1006 GMT [Dow Jones] While copper prices are liable to be swept higher if risk sentiment picks up this year, base metals may struggle to sustain price rallies without a corresponding improvement in market fundamentals, says Phillip Futures. A build up in Chinese bonded warehouse stocks of copper last year is likely to weigh on refined copper imports into the country this year, it says. Mine supply growth is also likely to pick up in 2013, it adds. New infrastructure spending in China has the potential to boost copper demand, however. “We believe that increased investment could boost metal off take by around 114,000 tons every month,” it says.

 

 



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