Copper prices have been under pressure this morning as the market has fallen well below yesterday's 41/2 month highs. Shanghai copper posted gains overnight in what some traders feel was a reaction to positive price action in US markets Thursday. Reports of lower copper production in Asia apparently offset some of the fears of sagging demand, which was given additional credence by news that Chinese January copper imports declined by 19% from the prior month. However, many traders feel that demand fears were obviously discounted due to the Lunar New Year holiday falling within that reporting period. Copper prices were able to overcome news that Shanghai deliverable copper stocks managed another weekly gain of 18,311 tons, and now stand at a somewhat lofty 198,292 tons. Other factors that might apply some pressure to copper prices this morning are the weakness in US equities and somewhat adverse currency market action.
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