Copper futures little changed as markets focus on U.S. budget talks

Shutterstock photo - - Copper futures were little changed during European morning hours on Tuesday, as negotiations between U.S. lawmakers in Washington aimed at resolving the looming fiscal cliff crisis continued to influence market sentiment.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.664 a pound during European morning trade, little changed on the day.

New York-traded copper prices held in a range between USD3.663 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD3.686 a pound. Futures rose to a seven-week high of USD3.720 on December 12.

Investors continued to monitor developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1, unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise in the two weeks left before the deadline.

Late Monday, President Barack Obama made a counter-offer to avert the crisis. The White House's latest proposal included a major change in position on tax hikes for the wealthy, moving closer to the Republicans' position.

President Obama said recently that any solution must include spending cuts and raising revenue, including increasing taxes on the wealthiest. Republican leaders say they will agree to higher revenue, but they want to close loopholes or reduce tax breaks rather than raise rates.

Without a deal, the U.S. could fall back into recession and drag much of the world down with it.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.1% to trade at 79.54, the lowest level since October 19.

A weaker dollar boosts demand for raw materials as an alternative investment and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for February delivery eased up 0.25% to trade at USD1,702.25 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery added 0.75% to trade at USD32.52 a troy ounce. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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