Copper futures down on weak global cues

Copper futures ended lower on Tuesday amid weak global cues. Copper futures fell in the overseas market as weak US retail sales data dimmed the near-term demand outlook for the industrial metal, while a stronger dollar also made the metal more expensive for those holding other currencies. US retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in January 2012 from the previous month, lower than the expected 0.9 per cent increase. Moreover, a mass ratings downgrade of European nations including Italy and Spain on Monday, renewed concerns that the European debt turmoil was intensifying, dampening the demand outlook for base metals including copper. Sentiment also weakened after EU leaders cancelled a meeting slated for Wednesday to decide on a second rescue package for Greece, and instead stepped up pressure on the nation to commit to severe austerity measures in exchange for seeking the aid. Weak global cues weighed on domestic sentiment and put downward pressure on prices. At the MCX, the price of the February 2012 contract fell as much as 1.05 per cent at Rs 414.50 per kg.

Copper futures, at the MCX, for the February 2012 contract, closed at Rs 417.60 per kg, down by 0.31 per cent, after opening at Rs 417.80, against a previous close of Rs 418.90. It touched an intra-day low of Rs 414.50.

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