* Tapering prospects grow after strong U.S. payrolls report
* Markets await result of key China Communist Party meeting
* Copper speculators slash net longs by 13,018 lots -CFTC
By Maytaal Angel and Harpreet Bhal
LONDON, Nov 11 Copper edged up on Monday as a
weak dollar and a pick-up in factory output in China helped
offset heightened concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve will
start reducing stimulus as soon as next month.
Also keeping the metal in check, China's Communist Party
leaders gathered at the weekend for a landmark conclave, due to
end on Tuesday, that will set the economic agenda for the next
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
ended at $7,173 a tonne, up from a last bid of $7,165 on Friday.
A Veterans Day holiday in the United States and armistice
remembrance holidays in several European countries added to the
quiet tone in markets.
Copper prices fell 1 percent last week, its biggest weekly
fall since mid-September, but remained in a $7,000-7,420 band
that has held since early August.
"We see prices around current levels or maybe lower through
to the year-end," said Citi analyst David Wilson.
Helping gains was a drop in the dollar against a basket of
currencies. A weak dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S.
unit cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data on Friday, however,
brought forward expectations for when the Fed could start
tapering its stimulus.
Ultra-loose monetary policy adopted by central banks around
the world in the last few years has drawn investors to
commodities as an alternative to interest-bearing assets.
"Base metals seem to be caught between two offsetting
variables," said Ed Meir, analyst at INTL FCStone.
"Macro numbers coming out of China seem to be supportive,
while on the downside, concern about U.S. tapering is
manifesting itself via the stronger dollar and seems to be
snuffing out any commodity rallies."
In China, factory output and export data suggested the
world's No. 2 economy was stabilising after a period of slower
growth, though a sharp rise in the country's inflation rate
fanned worries of policy tightening.
China is the world's top consumer of copper, accounting for
around 40 percent of refined demand. But prices have been
blunted by a pick-up in supply that has helped China's factories
produce record volumes of refined copper this year.
Data out earlier showed China's refined copper output
reached 637,958 tonnes in October, hitting a record for the
second straight month. Primary aluminium production reached
1,951,134 tonnes in October, also a record.
U.S. data on Friday showed hedge funds and money managers
slashed net long or buy positions in copper by 13,018 lots to
87,689, reversing a sharp increase the previous week.
Aluminium ended at $1,809 from a close of $1,815 on
Friday, zinc closed at $1,895 from $1,904, lead
ended at $2,127 from $2,140, tin ended at $22,945 from
$22,850 and nickel closed at $13,750 from $13,910.
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