Copper Demand Driven by Users Replenishing Inventories, BHP Billiton Says

Physical copper demand is being driven by consumers replenishing inventories amid a mixed outlook for commodities in the “short term”, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, said today.

“There is strong physical demand for some commodities such as copper where consumers are restocking and premiums continue to rise,” BHP Billiton said in an earnings statement to the Australian stock exchange. “There is weaker demand for those commodities where short-term demand is likely to be satisfied by inventory rather than primary supply,” the company said.

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Vietnam Devalues Currency to Boost Exports as Stocks Approach Bear Market

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-18/vietnam-devalues-currency-to-boost-exports-as-stocks-approach-bear-market.html

Vietnam devalued its currency for the third time since November, moving to reverse a slump in exports that helped to drive stocks close to a bear market.

The dong slid to a record-low 19,425 per dollar at 9:28 a.m. in Hanoi after the central bank lowered the reference rate by 2 percent to help control a trade deficit. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index dropped 1.6 percent to 455.96, extending its decline from the May peak to 17 percent, near the 20 percent that would indicate a bear market.

A weaker currency may boost exports and demonstrates the government’s focus on boosting economic growth over further easing inflation, said Prakriti Sofat, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in June the economy may expand as much as 7 percent this year, beating the 6.5 percent target, from 5.3 percent in 2009.

“The main reason for the central bank’s move is to balance onshore foreign-exchange demand-and-supply and to support exporters,” Sofat said. “Vietnam largely exports low value- added goods and typically competes on prices.”