Copper price down on US jobs report

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

The copper price dipped on Friday following a US jobs report that provided bad news for investors.

The Labor Department report showed employers added a larger-than-expected 263,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% from 3.7%.

It was the wrong direction for a US central bank intent on slowing demand for labor as a centerpiece of its battle against inflation, which is rising at more than triple its 2% target.

Copper for delivery in December fell 1.4% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.39 per pound ($7,458 per tonne).

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

“Despite the ongoing supply disruptions, concerns over macro headwinds and recession fears are dominating copper’s sentiment and prices for now,” said ING commodities strategist Ewa Manthey.

Worries about China’s ailing economy will also keep the metal under pressure until the government eases its strict covid-19 restrictions, she said in a note.

With China’s ruling Communist Party holding its once-in-five-years congress this month, Manthey said there was speculation that Beijing might start to relax its strict approach to containing the virus.

(With files from Reuters)