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DJ Base Metals Trade in Asia Subdued -- Market Talk
December 23, 2013

0547 GMT [Dow Jones] Base-metals trade in Asia is subdued ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Morgan Stanley expects copper prices to remain flat over the next five quarters. "An improved demand outlook driven by strength in Chinese power infrastructure sector is expected to be more than offset by a wave of supply slated to come to the market resulting in a market surplus over 2013-14," it says. In aluminum Morgan Stanley says in spite of production cuts announced by producers this year primary aluminum market remains "significantly oversupplied." It expects aluminum prices to remain suppressed in 2014-15. Similarly the international nickel market remains in an "unhealthy state of persistent and rising oversupply" and thus remains as the least favorite metal. "We believe large production cuts necessary to improve the market fundamentals are unlikely and pricing pressure to persist in the medium term," it adds. LME 3-month copper is at $7,240/ton, up $2, while aluminum is at $1,784.75/ton--down 25 cents from its previous close. (arpan.mukherjee@wsj.com) Contact us in Singapore. 65 64154 140; MarketTalk@dowjones.com