MTECHTIPS;-Copper futures higher in post-holiday trade; U.S. fiscal talks in focus

Copper futures edged higher in light post-holiday trade on Wednesday, amid hopes President Barack Obama and Republicans will reach a budget agreement to avert the looming fiscal cliff ahead of the year-end deadline.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.569 a pound during European morning trade, up 0.65% on the day.
New York-traded copper prices were stuck in a tight range between USD3.561 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD3.577 a pound.There was no floor or electronic trading on Tuesday because of the Christmas holiday. Market players remained focused on developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.President Barack Obama, currently vacationing in Hawaii, plans to return to Washington on Thursday in order to take part in talks to avert the crisis ahead of the year-end deadline, the White House said late Tuesday.Both chambers of Congress are also due to return to work on Thursday.Without a deal, the U.S. could fall back into recession and drag much of the world down with it.Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for February delivery eased down 0.1% to trade at USD1,658.15 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery added 0.15% to trade at USD29.94 a troy ounce.







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