Bloomberg News

Copper Falls as Moody’s Downgrades European Nations: LME Preview

February 14, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Copper declined for a third day in London after Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries, damping the region’s growth and demand outlook.

Market News:

-- Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal and said it may strip France and the U.K. of their top Aaa ratings, citing Europe’s debt crisis. NSN LZDFS607SXKX <GO>

-- European equity futures and Asian stocks fell, while the dollar rose after Moody’s Investors Service cut debt ratings on six European countries. The yen weakened as the central bank expanded an asset-purchase program. NSN LZDG8W1A74E9 <GO>

-- Japan’s central bank unexpectedly added 10 trillion yen ($128 billion) to an asset-purchase program and set an inflation target after an economic slide fueled criticism it has been slower to act than counterparts. NSN LZDBSS6JTSE9 <GO>

-- The biggest U.S. banks captured the highest share of global trading revenue in at least two years as their counterparts across the Atlantic reduced risk in the fourth quarter amid a worsening sovereign-debt crisis. NSN LZCUEO07SXKX <GO>

-- Oil fell from the highest price in almost five weeks on speculation that U.S. crude supplies are rising and demand for fuel may falter as Europe grapples with lower credit ratings. NSN LZDFPT0UQVI9 <GO>

Metals News:

-- The largest glut of zinc in almost two decades is threatening to curtail a rally in prices as record production expands inventories to the highest since at least 1984. NSN LZDCDK6S9729 <GO>

-- BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, and partner Rio Tinto Group approved a $4.5 billion expansion of Chile’s Escondida copper mine. NSN LZCRGN0YHQ0X <GO>

-- China has approved a joint venture between UBS AG and the parent of the State Development & Investment Corp. to become the first fund to trade commodity futures through a managed account product. NSN LZD3NF6S9728 <GO>

-- Aurubis AG reported first-quarter profit of 136 million euros ($179 million) and said copper prices will remain high and volatile. NSN LZDDEI6JTSE9 <GO>

-- Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, will have a power shortage as it closes a unit at Kariba North Bank plant for 14 days for maintenance, the country’s electricity utility said. NSN LZDGW76TTDS1 <GO>

-- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is restoring operations at El Abra in northern Chile after heavy rainfall impacted the copper mine over the weekend. NSN LZCRPE6KLVR5 <GO>

-- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered its estimate of this year’s aluminum surplus to 486,000 metric tons from 775,000 tons. NSN LZDGEC6TTDS6 <GO>

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