* Jobs, inflation data point to recovery in Europe
* Copper stocks continue to decline on the LME and ShFE
* Rio Tinto to stop output at Australian alumina refinery
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Nov 29 Copper ticked higher on Friday,
supported by a weaker dollar and falls in stockpiles, but still
posted its biggest monthly loss since June on expectations of
growing supply and tepid demand going forward.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed 0.5 percent higher at $7,055 a tonne. Copper has
rebounded from a three-month low of $6,910 hit last week, but
prices have given up 2.7 percent this month.
A weaker dollar supported metals markets, making
dollar-priced metal cheaper for non-U.S. investors.
Investors were also encouraged by the first fall in euro
zone unemployment in almost four years, coupled with rising
prices, which gave fresh momentum to an economic recovery in the
Also helping copper, daily data showed stockpiles on the
London Metal Exchange fell to 423,825 tonnes,
their lowest point since mid-February this year. In addition,
copper stocks held by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 2.1
percent from last Friday.
"You have these low and rapidly falling visible stocks
causing tightness along the curve, but I don't believe this
decline is representative of the underlying market," BNP Paribas
analyst Stephen Briggs said.
"We are in a bear market. I think we'll have a smallish
surplus this year and slightly bigger one next year. There's
more downside over the next nine months, but in the shorter term
there's clear tightness of one kind or another."
In an indication that copper stocks leaving LME and ShFE
warehouses have not all been consumed, Macquarie said an
analysis of trade data showed Vietnam had imported about 250,000
tonnes of copper this year, roughly triple its needs and
equivalent to this year's global surplus.
Vietnam is not approved as an LME delivery point, so stocks
have not been visible in LME reports.
Also weighing on the demand outlook, a Reuters poll showed
manufacturing activity in top copper consumer China probably
grew at a slower pace in November as demand weakened as Beijing
shifts its focus to market-based reforms.
China will release official manufacturing figures on Monday.
Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, turned out 507,694
tonnes of copper in October, a 6.5 percent increase
from the year before, the government said on Friday.
The best performer of LME metals on Friday was tin, which
many analysts peg as having the best supply-demand fundamentals.
Tin closed 1.2 percent higher at $22,800.
The market deficit in the global tin market is expected to
deepen in 2014 to 12,400 tonnes from 7,400 tonnes this year
largely from improved demand from a recovering electronics
sector, industry group ITRI said.
Aluminium ended barely changed, up 0.1 percent at
$1,755 a tonne, having hit a four-year low at $1,744 a tonne
Reflecting a tough market for aluminium prices, which have
been dogged by a global surplus, miner Rio Tinto
said it would stop alumina production at its Gove
refinery in Australia because the plant was no longer viable.
Nickel finished up 0.9 percent at $13,520 a tonne,
but posted a loss of 7.5 percent for the month as global stocks
swell to record highs amid declining use from stainless steel
In industry news, the parent company of Finnish nickel miner
Talvivaara has started a court-supervised
restructuring, the miner said on Friday, in an attempt to avoid
Zinc closed up 1 percent at $1,877 a tonne, and lead
gained 0.7 percent at $2,080 a tonne.
Three month LME copper CMCU3
Most active ShFE copper SCFcv1
Three month LME aluminium CMAL3
Most active ShFE aluminium SAFcv1
Three month LME zinc CMZN3
Most active ShFE zinc SZNcv1
Three month LME lead CMPB3
Most active ShFE lead SPBcv1
Three month LME nickel CMNI3
Three month LME tin CMSN3