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SHFE base metals prices broadly lower; copper bucks the trend

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly lower during the morning trading session on Monday March 18 despite a weak US dollar, amid poor market sentiment and the news that China will cut its value-added tax (VAT) rate for the manufacturing and other sectors from April 1.

Base metals prices were also struggling at the start of the week amid weaker-than-expected economic data for January to February and a significant rise in SHFE inventories. Data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last Thursday showed the country’s economy slowed in the first two months of 2019, with industrial production growth falling to 5.3% in January-February, down from 5.7% in the same period a year ago. It was also below the expected gain of 5.5%.

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