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London Metal Exchange to launch Asian benchmark prices in January

The London Metal Exchange will launch new reference prices for copper, aluminium and zinc markets on 24 January 2011, based on trading activity on the exchange during the Asian time zone.

The new Asian benchmark prices, a set of three month futures prices, will act as regional indicators and bring added transparency to these markets.

The exchange’s electronic trading platform, LMEselect, has seen early morning trading grow in recent years, with average daily volume before 7:00am London time up 90 per cent so far in 2010 compared with 2009, indicating a large increase in trading on the LME from Asian markets.

A trade weighted average price will be calculated from transactions on LMEselect between 8.00am and 8.15am London time and the new Asian benchmark prices will be published at 8.30am London time on a daily basis.

Liz Milan, managing director LME Asia, says: “The LME’s new Asian benchmark prices will bring further transparency to Asian trading activity on the Exchange and perfectly complement our existing official, unofficial and closing prices which act as reference prices for the world.”

The introduction of an Asian benchmark for other non-ferrous metals and steel will be considered in the future.

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