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copper hits new record

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    Copper hits new record on global demand views

    * Robust demand prospects in US, China propel copper * Tin at new record on supply fears * Coming up: China/U.S. manufacturing data Tuesday (Recasts, updates prices, adds NEW YORK dateline/byline and analyst comments) By Chris Kelly and Pratima Desai NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) -Copper surged to a new record high in London on Monday, as investors brushed aside escalating tensions in Egypt, and instead, focused on robust demand prospects in the United States and China -- the world's top two consumers. London Metal Exchange (LME) tin CMSN3 extended its record-setting run to a new all-time high at $30,240 a tonne as fears of a supply-squeeze in top-exporter Indonesia mounted.
    [ID:nLDE70U1OR] Copper's rally tracked a more bullish tone in global equities at the start of the week, as sentiment stood firm in the face of Egypt's crisis and investment demand for commodities as an asset class continued to strengthen. "I think copper today is paying a lot more attention to the fact that overnight when the world thought that the stock markets of the world would collapse, here they are strong ... the first sign of that was China finishing the day right on the highs," said Dennis Gartman of The Gartman Letter. "Even with the problems in the Middle East ... apparently, any hard asset the world sort of wants right now," he said. Indeed, the Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global benchmark for commodities, was on course to finish the month of January up 2 percent. [ID:nN31179584] LME copper for three-month delivery CMCU3 jumped to a fresh record at $9,782 per tonne in after-hours trade, surpassing its previous record on Jan. 19 by $1. It ended the kerb close up $110 at $9,745 and rose further in after-hours trade to post its biggest one-day gain since Dec. 13, 2010. COMEX copper for March delivery HGH1 shot up by 8.55 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $4.4585 per lb on the New York Mercantile Exchange, just 4 cents away from its own record high. A steady stream of positive economic data from the United States, including a 22-1/2 year high in Midwest factory activity and upbeat tone in consumer spending provided fresh signals that the world's largest economy would stay on a solid growth path this year. [ID:nN31151915] "Ex the North Africa/Middle East circumstances, which is only going to get worse, the rest of the world seems to be doing quite well, economically," Gartman said. Looking ahead to Tuesday, traders will monitor the results of purchasing manager surveys of manufacturing sectors in China and the United States. [ECI/US] ECONCN Copper's rally seemed to fly in the face of a mixed to bearish trend in LME inventories at the start of the year -- up more than 14 percent since Dec. 9. <0#LME-STOCKS> LME data seemed to back that view, showing cash prices trading around $15 above the benchmark forward futures contract, significantly in from the $70 premium they held in December.
    MCU0-3 Latest data showed LME copper stocks dropped 4,050 tonnes to 394,025 tonnes. Analysts also continued to peg stronger demand growth in China, even as the country prepares for its week-long Lunar New Year holiday on Wednesday and monetary tightening prospects remain. "Fears that China's monetary policy would choke off economic growth have been overdone," said Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research. [MET/POLL] COMMODITYPOLL01 "Even if China were to grow at a slower pace this year than last, it would not change the picture. There would be a deficit."


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