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Glencore 1st-half profit declines: Commoditties | MarketWatch

By Alex MacDonald  LONDON --Commodities titan Glencore International PLC Tuesday said its projects are ramping up according to plan, but cautioned that it doesn't expect a material improvement in overall market conditions in the near term as first-half earnings fell largely due to lower commodity prices.  The FTSE-100 miner, which is in the midst of a merger of equals with Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN), made no mention of the terms of the deal, despite pressure from some of Xstrata's largest shareholders for a improvement in the share-swap ratio.  Glencore's CEO Ivan Glasenberg said: "Glencore has continued to deliver strong financial results supported by a solid performance in marketing....Looking forward, we neither anticipate nor assume any material improvement in overall market or economic conditions in the near term."  The Switzerland-based company reported a 17% year-on-year rise in revenue to $108.96 bil