Like gold and silver, copper prices appear to have lost upside momentum after their initial rally earlier this week. Renewed fears of global slowing were fueled overnight by news of sharp declines in July Japanese export data, particularly with Japanese exports to China. It also seems that news from the Euro zone has turned less supportive, as Greek officials are once again soliciting for more time to comply with EU requirements. With a weaker Euro and softer global equity prices overnight, many traders feel that the outside market environment for copper early today has turned negative.

However, some traders feel that copper might find some early support from fears of fresh labor problems at a major global copper producer, and from news that labor problems at South African platinum mines appears to be spreading. It should be noted that Asian copper prices were able to rise overnight, as that may suggest that Chinese traders weren't overly concerned about the outlook for that nation's copper demand. Other traders feel that copper may be strengthened by news that a Chinese central bank official overnight indicated that his bank needed all the tools available to stimulate the Chinese economy.