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Markets

Copper rises as Chile strike threat sparks supply worries

  • The US Senate, unable to finalise a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday, will try again on Saturday
Published August 6, 2021

Copper prices climbed on Friday, underpinned by supply worries as workers at the world's largest copper mine in Chile were asked to prepare for a strike over contract issues.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1% to $9,583 a tonne by 0704 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.1% at 70,330 yuan ($10,877.90) a tonne.

The union representing workers at Chile's Escondida copper mine on Thursday instructed members to prepare for a strike due to slow progress in government-mediated contract talks.

Copper prices surging to pre-coronavirus levels

The copper market is facing possible strike action across operations in Chile, which is likely unless the two sides reach an agreement in mediation talks, ANZ analysts said in a note.

However, metals were weighed down by a firm dollar, which makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies, as markets braced for US job data that could make the case for faster US policy tightening.

FUNDAMENTALS

  • Tin and aluminium prices are likely to outperform the rest of the base metals complex in the second half of 2021 on strong demand and tight supply, state-backed Chinese research house Antaike said on Thursday.

  • The US Senate, unable to finalise a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday, will try again on Saturday.

  • LME aluminium rose 0.6% to $2,604.50 a tonne, nickel advanced 0.4% to $19,540 a tonne, zinc edged down 0.1% to $3,026.50 a tonne and lead shed 0.7% to $2,345 a tonne.

  • ShFE nickel advanced 1.6% to 145,190 yuan a tonne, zinc increased 2.3% to 22,580 yuan a tonne, lead was almost flat at 15,785 yuan a tonne and aluminium rose 1.1% to 19,925 yuan a tonne.

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