US Fed, Bernanke to Pull Back Bond Buying; LME Copper Prices Up

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Economists widely expect the US Federal Reserve to pull back its bond-buying program, while keeping interest rates near zero, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to deliver a press conference later today.

According to Reuters, “Most economists expect the Fed to scale back its monthly purchases by a modest $10 billion, taking them to $75 billion and signaling the beginning of the end to an unprecedented episode of monetary expansion that has been felt worldwide.”

It remains to be seen how the broader economy will be affected, and how manufacturers will fit into this new landscape.

Industry Bellwether – Copper Prices

On Tuesday, September 17, the Japanese copper cash price fell by 1.3 percent, making it the day’s biggest mover on MetalMiner’s copper price index.

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Following a 0.5 percent rise on Tuesday, the price of US copper producer grade 110 closed higher. The price of US copper producer grade 122 is back up, rising by 0.5 percent yesterday. Following a 0.5 percent rise on Tuesday, the price of US copper producer grade 102 was up as well.

Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar fell 0.2 percent. The Chinese copper cash price weakened by 0.2 percent. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap finished the day following a 0.2 percent increase. Chinese copper wire held its value yesterday.

The 3-month price of copper rose 0.4 percent on the LME to $7,085 per metric ton after a two-day drop. After falling for two days, the cash price of primary copper rose 0.3 percent on the LME to $7,050 per metric ton.

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