Markets were reportedly off to a choppy start this week as the dollar traded in a wider range against a basket of currencies, reflecting in part uncertainty over the election in Italy, potential spending cuts in the U.S., and a preliminary reading showing slower manufacturing growth in China. In London, base metal prices were mixed today, but included firmer LME official 3-mo. asking prices for copper ($7,890/mt), zinc ($2,094.50/mt) and tin ($23,375/mt) following last week’s slide. But LME 3-mo. aluminum, nickel and lead prices were easier in PM trading. In New York, COMEX Mar copper was up about a cent to $3.545/lb. early this afternoon. Of note, the CME Group reported the daily trading volume for COMEX copper futures reached a new record on February 21, 2013 of 128,326 contracts. Other commodity prices were mostly firmer today, helping to push the DJ-UBS Commodity Futures Index up 0.3%. On Wall Street, the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 were down around 0.3% this afternoon. Click here for full article.