NEW YORK, March 28 U.S. gold and copper futures
stumbled Wednesday as worries over the American economy crept
back into both markets.
* Gold prices declined below $1,680 an ounce Wednesday,
extending the previous day's retreat from 2-week highs as the
momentum sparked by expectations for further U.S. monetary
easing faded after the metal stayed below key resistance.
* Copper fell Wednesday as bullish sentiment petered out and
investors shifted attention to U.S. manufacturing data for clues
on the pace of recovery in the world's biggest economy.
* Adroit financial deals have muddied what used to be
reliable metrics of regional demand such as draws from copper
stockpiles in London Metal Exchange warehouses and copper
imports to top consumer China.
* Global mining groups selling non-core assets are likely to
increase deals in the industry, said senior bankers at the
Reuters Mining and Metals Summit.
* U.S. February durable goods orders at 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)
are seen up 3.0 percent after January's 3.7 percent drop.
* European shares fell while core government bonds steadied,
the yen and euro firmed against the dollar and investors trimmed
positions before the end of the quarter.
* Crude continued Tuesday's fall on the possibility of a
release of U.S. and European strategic oil reserves.
Prices at 7:44 a.m. EDT (1144 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US gold 1676.50 -8.40 -0.5% 7.0%
US silver 32.515 -0.101 -0.3% 16.5%
US platinum 1637.30 -20.20 -1.2% 17.0%
US palladium 652.95 -10.05 -1.5% -0.5%
US copper 384.10 -3.90 -1.0% 11.8%
(Reporting by Rene Pastor; Editing by Alden Bentley)