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-- JPMorganChase's domination of the copper market and the metal's strange classification as "bullion" by U.S. government financial regulatory agencies, thereby exempting trading in the metal from ordinary anti-monopoly controls.
Home's analysis is headlined "How JPMorgan Struck Gold with Copper" and it's posted at Reuters here:
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japan stocks posted a second straight day of drops on Thursday, as auto makers suffered heavy losses after the U.S. regulators ordered a nationwide recall of air bags made by Japanese company Takata Corp.
The Nikkei Average NIK, -0.78% ended down 0.8%, with the broader TopixI0000, +0.03% dropping 1%. The yen USDJPY, +0.00% , meanwhile, strengthened versus the greenback to ¥117.41 from ¥117.62 in the prior session.
Auto-parts maker Takata Corporation 7312, -4.79% sank 4.8%, after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the company to recall its driver-side air bags nationwide.
Japanese auto makers suffered, with Honda Motor Co., Ltd. 7267, -3.33% sliding 3.3%. Honda Motor had recalled cars with Takata airbags in March 2002, two years earlier than previously thought, according to a Reuters report.
In other Asian markets, Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.45% retreated 0.5%.
Official data showed Thursday that China’s industrial profit swung to a decrease in October, as profits for the top companies dropped 2.1% from a year earlier, compared to a 0.4% increase for September profit.
Economic data: Germany’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fall to a record post-unification low of 6.6% in November, while the number of jobless people fell by 14,000. The figures confirm that the German labor market has been able to weather the latest bout of sluggishness, in which the country’s manufacturing sector was especially hard hit by global geopolitical concerns and by sanctions on Russia.
In Spain, data showed the economic recovery continued in the third quarter as gross domestic product for the period rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter and 1.6% on the year. Both readings were in line with flash estimates. And in Italy, manufacturing business confidence rose for a second month in a row, boosted by better order expectations from manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods.
However, consumer-price numbers revealed that Spain slipped further into deflation in November, with prices falling for a fifth straight month. Belgian consumer prices in November also fell further, down by 0.11%. Data released during midafternoon trade showed German inflation in November slowed to 0.5%, matching an estimate from HSBC.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, at a speech before the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki, reiterated that policy makers are committed to enacting additional measures “within its mandate” to address the risks of persistently low inflation levels.
He noted eurozone inflation in October stood at a low rate of 0.4%, and considering the recent slide in oil prices, “and taking into account prevailing futures prices for energy, inflation is expected to remain at around current low levels over the coming months, before increasing gradually during 2015 and 2016.”
On Friday, investors will watch for eurozone-wide inflation data that are expected to show consumer prices grew by 0.3% this month.
Market reaction: The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.35% added 0.4% to close at 347.49, although it briefly pared gains after OPEC’s decision to keep oil production unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.
Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, +0.60% rose 0.6% to 9,974.87, setting it on track for a 7% gain for November. Such a monthly rally would be the biggest since January 2012. After the in-line German-inflation print, the euro EURUSD, -0.30% bought $1.2476, compared with Wednesday’s level of around $1.2514.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.09% slipped 0.1% to 6,723.42, weighed by oil majors.