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Copper price down as dollar gains ahead of US jobs data

Construction worker on site, Boston, USA (Stock Image)

Copper prices eased on Friday as the dollar firmed ahead of key US jobs data that is expected to cement the path towards monetary tightening.

A firm set of non-farm payroll figures is likely to boost the dollar, undermining demand for commodities priced in the currency.

March delivery contracts were exchanging hands for $4.28 a pound ($9,435 a tonne) by midday on the Comex market in New York, a decline of 5% compared to last Friday.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices.

“Copper and other base metals are holding up well despite the bearish news like the new variant, China slowdown, and potential tightening by the Federal Reserve,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

Copper inventories

In warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper stocks shed 13.7% to 36,110 tonnes, according to weekly data.

Copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses, at 78,350 tonnes, are about a third of levels registered in late August.

Miner MMG said on Friday it will end copper production from its Las Bambas mine in Peru by mid-December after failing to establish commercial relationships with local community organizations.

The mine produced 400,000 tonnes of copper a year, about 2% of the total global output.

Las Bambas, Peru’s fourth largest copper mine and the world’s ninth, has grappled with on-and-off protests and road blockades since the operation’s 2015-16 ramp-up. 

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper miner, saw output in October drop 9.9% year-on-year to 144,100 tonnes, Chilean state copper commission Cochilco said.

(With files from Reuters)

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