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LME METALS round-up: 2 November

The world economy was not entirely forgotten, but the hive of trading activity that is New York was closed for a few days as the city was lashed by ‘super storm’ Sandy.

Earlier, the markets learnt that US gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2% during the third quarter of this year, after rising by 1.3% in the second quarter. Durable goods orders rose by 9.9% in September after having fallen by 13.1% in August. And the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for US manufacturing, compiled by Markit Economics, improved only slightly to 51.3 in October from a three-year low of 51.1 in September.

The preliminary figure for the corresponding index in China, compiled by Markit in association with the bank HSBC, improved to 49.1 in October from 47.9 in September. This meant that manufacturing output in China was falling more slowly than before. But a Chinese government official was quoted by the news wires as saying that industrial output would grow faster in the final quarter of this year.

In the eurozone, the preliminary composite PMI was down to 45.8 in October, its lowest level for more than three years, from 46.1 in September, while the index for manufacturing was down to 45.3 in October from 46.1 in September. This suggested that the slowdown in the eurozone was getting worse.

Certainly, the business climate in Germany continues to deteriorate, according to the IFO economic research institute. The index published by the institute was down to 100.0 in October from 101.4 in September.

In Japan, the government announced a further ¥11 trillion (£85bn) of asset purchases (money injection) to boost the economy after industrial production dropped by 4.1% in September. This was much worse than the 3.1% that had been expected by the markets. Even South Korea managed only 0.2% (quarter-on-quarter) growth in the third quarter of this year.

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