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Base Metals Look to Happy New Year
Jan 2, 2004
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Base metals ended New Year's Eve on a high to cap a very strong year for the complex.

Nickel, which is mainly used for stainless steel production, a material often used in making appliances, was the best performer during 2003, rising 131 percent on the London Metal Exchange (LME) to end the year at U.S. $16,500 a ton, its highest level since mid-1989.

The next best performer was tin, up 52 percent for the year to end at $6,525 a ton, its highest point since November 1995. 3-month LME copper ended at $2,301 a ton and about 47 percent for the year to it highest level since August 1997.

3-month LME lead closed the year at $723 a ton, an advance of almost 40 percent during 2003 and its highest point since January 1997. Zinc ended at $1,017 a ton, climbing 32 percent for the year to end at its highest point since April 2001.

Aluminum was the weakest performer of the LME metals, gaining 18 percent for 2003 to end at $1,599 a ton, levels last seen in September 2000. (FT.com)

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