By Leia Michele Toovey-Exclusive to Copper Investing News

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Overnight, copper futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose modestly in what was a very quiet trading session, taking cues from the London Metal Exchange and the firming of the euro against the dollar.

The euro experienced relief as the Portuguese Finance Minister said that his nation did not need an IMF/EU bailout, and that his administration is doing everything possible to avoid that result. Sentiment is that if Portugal would accept a bailout, it would prove negative to Euro zone copper demand.

Copper trading volumes at this time remain light. Investors are adopting a wait-and-see attitude during the annual commodity index reweighting, which are expected to be completed this Friday. Consolidation will remain the main theme these days, mainly due to a lack of clear and directional signals either from external markets or from their own supply-and-demand fundamentals, said Wang Zhouyi, a senior analyst with Shanghai Cifco Futures.

Analysts are quick to point out the underlying market fundamentals, the fact that copper stock will remain tight throughout the year. Light trading volumes have resulted in LME copper stocks creeping up to 379,650 tonnes, an increase of 1,350 tonnes.

The copper market is largely ignoring China's December loan growth and money supply data, whose strength indicated there will be more monetary tightening ahead. China's financial institutions extended US$72.6 billion worth of new Yuan loans in December, down from US $85.2 billion in November.

Company News

Nevada Copper Corp. (TSE:NCU) is pleased to announce further positive drill results at the 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Property located in Nevada. Assay results have been received from drill hole NC10-GT-07 and, in addition to collecting geotechnical data within the development areas of the East Deposit; NC10-GT-07 was successful in confirming the continuity of high grade mineralization. Drill hole NC10-GT-07 intersected 180.0 feet (54.9 meters) averaging 1.59 percent copper and 0.261 grams gold and 3.6 grams silver. This hole represents the latest assay results from the geotechnical drilling program. Currently one drill rig is finishing the geotechnical program and will join the second rig which has already started the 20,000 meter resource step-out and expansion drilling program proposed for 2011. We are very pleased that NC10-GT-07, along with the earlier geotechnical holes, continues to confirm and expand mineralization in the East and South deposits. The remaining geotechnical drilling is currently being completed on the E2 and North deposits as part of the engineering data collection for the ongoing Feasibility Study. The drill program will then focus on the expansion of the resource, commented Gregory French, Vice President, and Senior Project Manager of Nevada Copper.

Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. (CVE:CGP) recently concluded a Definitive Agreement with its joint venture partner that will allow diamond drilling to commence immediately on the Gama Prospect, located in the NW portion of the Company's flagship Shyri Gold-Copper Project in southern Ecuador. The Shyri Project is the subject of an Option Agreement with partner Intrepid Mines Ltd. (ASX: IAU) (CVE: IAU). Intrepid has the option to acquire an initial 60 percent interest in Cornerstone's Shyri Project which is located in central Ecuador, approximately 350km south of Quito and 150km north of the border with Peru. Under the terms of the Agreement, Intrepid has the ability to earn the initial 60 percent interest in the property by spending $US 6.0 million dollars over 5 years, with a firm commitment of $US 1.0 million in the first year. “We have consistently told shareholders that both Cornerstone and Intrepid would move quickly to a drilling program once approval was received from the Ecuadorian government, said Glen H. McKay, President & CEO, Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. The Agreement formalizes our intention to aggressively explore this highly prospective property. We expect to release results from the program on a consistent and timely basis. “Cornerstone is the operator of the exploration program. Cornerstone and Intrepid have approved a Phase one 2,900 meter diamond drilling program comprising 11 holes over various targets defined on the basis of surface geochemistry, detailed geology, magnetics, and 3-D interpretation of Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical data.

Crazy Horse Resources Inc. (CVE:CZH) a Philippines based mineral exploration company, announced assays from the sixth hole of a ten-hole confirmatory drilling program on its Taysan copper-gold-silver porphyry project. Hole CZT006 drilled 477 meters of 0.41% Cu, 0.11 g/T Au and 1.44 g/T Ag, including 16m of 2.27% Cu, 0.16 g/T Au and 9.4 g/T Ag from 101m - 117m down hole. Results from this hole continue to support the Company's belief in the presence of a significant Copper-Gold-Silver deposit. The Company will continue to drill define the Taysan deposit in preparation for the next study phase, however, the ten holes drilled completed to date are anticipated to be sufficient to bring the Taysan deposit into a NI 43-101 compliant resource, which will be finalized once all assays have been completed.

Copper Pauses ahead of Annual Commodity Index Weighting originally posted on copperinvestingnews.com