METALS-Copper up on U.S. after biggest weekly loss in a month

Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:35pm EDT

* Falls 1 pct this week, biggest weekly fall in one month

* Equities rise on hopes of U.S. debt deal

* Chinese industrial players tend to buy copper below $6,900

By Silvia Antonioli

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday, tracking equities markets as improved prospects of a deal in Washington to solve a fiscal deadlock boosted riskier assets, but the metal staged its biggest weekly loss in a month.

Worries over a political crisis that shuttered much of the U.S. government and pushed it dangerously close to debt default pressured the metal earlier in the week and pulled it towards the lower end of its two-month $7,000-$7,500 range.

But President Barack Obama and Republican leaders appeared ready to end the political crisis. Industrial metals and other assets perceived as riskier, like equities, benefited from the signs of progress.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,200 from a close at $7,145 on Thursday, when it gained 0.6 percent.

"Hopes of a deal in the U.S. helped base metals a bit after a sell-off on Thursday but I am not convinced this rebound will last too long because a deal has not been achieved yet and it doesn't help too much to diminish the uncertainty," T-Commodity consultant Gianclaudio Torlizzi said.

On Thursday the price had slipped at one point to $7,081 a tonne, the lowest since Sept. 18, and was down 1 percent this week, the largest weekly loss since mid-September.

"I don't think there is any one consistent factor that is driving these markets right now, I think this is more noise in a pretty well-defined range for copper," Barclays analyst Gayle Berry said. "I would be cautious reading too much in hour by hour moves until we break out either side of the range."

CHINESE GROWTH

Metals demand continues to be fanned by growth in top consumer China where premiums for metal in bonded zones have climbed $5 to $175-$205 this week, according to China price provider Shmet.

China's economic growth should exceed 7.5 percent this year, deputy central bank governor Yi Gang was quoted by Xinhua as saying, the latest expression of confidence from Beijing that the world's No. 2 economy is steadying.

Copper prices are closely linked to growth in China, which consumes about 40 percent of the world's supply.

Tin buyers are becoming increasingly nervous about securing enough of the metal after new Indonesian trading rules cut shipments by the world's biggest exporter nearly 90 percent last month, although at LME week in London, the consensus was that Indonesia would give some ground to allow exports to flow.

Benchmark tin closed at $23,475 from $23,400, zinc at $1,917 from $1,895 and nickel at $13,920 from $13,750. Lead, untraded at the close, was bid at $2,102 from $2,075 and aluminium, also untraded, was bid $1,881 from $1,882.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Three month LME tin