The copper market has been able to make a moderate recovery from last week's sharp downside action, but some traders feel that copper prices may be reflecting disappointment from the recent news that Shanghai copper stocks have risen to their highest levels since 2002. Shanghai copper stocks last Friday came in at 217,242 tonnes, for a weekly increase of 18,940 tons on the week for a rise of 9.6%. That potentially negative news was at least partially offset by reports that Chinese refined copper imports for January were up 36.6% over the prior year. Chinese copper concentrate imports in January were also up over 7% over the prior year and those news stories were widely thought to have given the copper market some limited support. However, some traders pointed to month over month declines in Chinese import figures as having a negative market impact. Copper prices in China may have found additional strength from ideas that the Chinese central bank was moving back into a more supportive posture with respect to monetary policy.
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