With news here in Australia being dominated by the upcoming election, the local economy seems to be in somewhat of a holding pattern as businesses wait for a clear direction on the next term of government.

Internationally, markets remain firm while the Australian dollar floats around the 0.9 mark. In the physical market, the manufacturing sector seems to have a steady appetite for feed which in turn translates into a reasonably stable market.

**** DJ Copper Eases After Strongest Week in 10 Months ****

By Matt Day

NEW YORK–Copper futures eased a bit on Monday, retreating after the biggest weekly gain in 10 months as traders weighed the demand outlook for top consumer China.

The most actively traded copper contract, for September delivery, fell 0.35 cent, or 0.1%, to settle at $3.303 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper futures had snapped to the highest price since June late last week, after data showed Chinese exports and imports both rose in July by more than economists had expected, a sign that the second-largest economy is steadying following a slowdown during the first half of the year. China is the largest copper consumer, accounting for about 40% of global demand.

But futures pulled back a bit on Monday, as traders assessed the market’s China-fueled surge.

“Despite these upbeat [economic] reports, we view the latest data as being an upward blip in what we think remains a deceleration in China’s growth trajectory,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

Data released Monday showing growth in major metal consumer Japan missed expectations in the three months through June had a limited impact on copper prices, Standard Bank analyst Leon Westgate said in a note.

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