Copper and Palladium Fall


". . .on Japan's slowing economy."

Copper and palladium prices are falling after Japan said declines in production and consumer spending will limit economic growth as the country rebuilds.

Copper prices settled down 2% Wednesday while palladium fell less than 1%.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami caused severe damage in northern Japan, killing up to 25,000 people. Many factories were destroyed and a severe parts shortage occurred.

Copper and palladium are used in manufacturing many kinds of consumer products, including construction materials and catalytic converters for cars.

Copper prices are under pressure due to concerns that demand from China may weaken because of the government's efforts to curb inflation.

Oil and other energy contracts are higher. Grains and beans are mixed.

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