Copper drifts on limited China buying, BOJ stimulus supports

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SummaryCopper edged down on Wednesday, but stayed near the eleven-day high it hit the previous day after the Bank of Japan announced aggressive monetary stimulus, while physical buying in China was quiet ahead of holidays next month.

defuses fears of a damaging US debt default.

Still, without further fresh signs of growth from China, metals could enter a soft patch in the near term, Sweden's SE commodity research division wrote in a research note.

"With the recent (dubious) rally on more positive Chinese sentiment having lost momentum, we see better buying opportunities in H1," it said.

"Most likely, the exclusive market focus on Chinese economic conditions will end this year as OECD demand appears increasingly likely to improve." MARKETS NEWS

BHP Billiton , the world's biggest mining company, reported its quarterly iron ore output rose 3 percent, slightly below analysts' estimates, as it races to keep pace with demand from Chinese steelmakers.

Supply from the world's biggest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, is expected to rise 20 percent next year on improving ore grades, it said.

Slowing Chinese growth and a surge of new supply will limit gains for benchmark industrial metal copper this year, with further price slippage seen in 2014 as the market surplus deepens, a Reuters poll showed this week.

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