While Asian copper prices were higher overnight, those gains may have been partially offset by news of a year-over-year rise in Chilean July copper production in excess of 9%. Shanghai copper stocks declined by only 873 tons for the week, which will provide little if any direction on demand patterns inside China. However, there was news overnight of a start-up for a Chinese manufacturing plant that will use up to 400,000 tons of copper annually. That may help to improve Chinese demand prospects after Chinese equities closed lower for the 4th month in a row last night. The copper market might also be looking ahead to Chinese economic data over the weekend, as China's central bank has been quiet on signaling any fresh easing prospects.