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Copper price rises on a weaker dollar

Production of copper cathodes at an electrowinning plant in a copper mine in Chile (Stock Image)

Copper prices rose on Monday, supported by a weaker dollar while the market awaited data from China for a better steer on demand prospects.

Copper for delivery in December rose 1.7% from Friday’s settlement price, touching $3.62 per pound ($7,964 per tonne).

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

The dollar has retreated against a basket of other currencies since reaching 20-year highs last week.

“The base metals complex has been supported by the weaker dollar this morning,” said Sucden Financial analyst Geordie Wilkes, adding that US inflation data this week will help to shed light on Federal Reserve policy intentions.

US consumer prices data is expected to determine whether the Fed raises interest rates by 50 or 75 basis points next week.

“The net effect of a steady dollar would be good news for copper,” one trader said, adding that volumes were subdued because of a holiday in China, which this week releases data on investment, industrial production, and house prices.

On the supply side, workers at Chile’s Escondida mine, the largest copper mine in the world, agreed on Friday to temporarily suspend a work stoppage planned for this week.

Workers had voted to go on strike Wednesday over safety concerns at the mine.

(With files from Reuters)