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Copper is trading at 301 cents per pound, down 1.2% on the day, as traders secure their profits and square-up their up positions ahead of the trade balance and new loans report expected from Beijing overnight. Ordinarily, the trade balance data would be of more interest to traders as it highlights the level of imports and exports from the country. However, in light of the new credit concerns in China, the new loans report could take precedence.
As I previously mentioned, copper was driven higher last week after concerns that copper production in Chile would be hit as the nation was struck by an earthquake. The focus is now back on China; if the trade and loan figures from Beijing are weak then we could see copper extend its decline.
The 200-hour moving average of 303 cents per pound is acting as resistance. If copper drops below the psychological level of 300 cents per pound, we could approach the recent low of 297 cents per pound.