LONDON; Copper climbed more than 1 percent on Friday as the dollar looked set to record its biggest weekly drop in two months, tempting buyers back to the metal after the previous day’s steep slide.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 1.2 percent at $6,145 a tonne. The contract had dropped 1.7 percent on Thursday after the arrest in Canada of a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei dampened hopes for a resolution of the US-China trade conflict.
The dollar weakened after data showed US employers hired fewer workers than forecast in November, backing the view that US growth is moderating and the Federal Reserve may stop raising rates sooner than previously thought.
A weaker dollar makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for non-US investors.
Wall Street fell amid a drop in technology stocks and White House comments that US officials would raise tariffs if Washington and China could not come to an agreement during the current 90-day truce.
“Metals at the moment (are) all macro driven. The world is in a very vulnerable situation but (while) global growth looks like it’s peaked (it’s) not slowing measurably, so we’re range trading. Copper still has very low exchange inventories,” said Alastair Munro, metals analyst at Marex Spectron.
* COPPER SPREADS: The premium for cash copper over the three month price was at $9.50 a tonne, down from a peak of $44 in late November, indicating increased nearby supply. LME copper stocks are at their lowest in a decade, however.
* JAPAN COPPER: Japan’s Pan Pacific Copper expects copper prices to rise toward $7,000 a tonne in 2019, backed by firm global demand and tighter supply.
* ZINC SPREADS: The premium for cash zinc over the three- month price at $114 a tonne, was near record highs, indicating very tight nearby supply. LME zinc stocks have halved since mid-August and are near a 10-year low.
* ZINC POSITIONS: Traders are keeping a close eye on positions holding large amounts of LME zinc warrants and cash contracts, which are causing jitters about nearby availability. 0#LME-WHC
* INDONESIA TIN: Indonesia’s refined tin exports in November dropped 56 percent from a year earlier.
* METALS PRICES: LME zinc ended down 0.2 percent at $2,587 a tonne, having hit its highest since late October, while aluminium closed up 1 percent at $1,955. Lead ended up 0.6 percent at $1,995, tin ended up 0.4 percent at $19,000, while nickel ended up 0.6 percent at $10,910.