* Dollar higher vs euro, basket of currencies
* U.S. private sector adds 176,000 jobs in August
* Tin hits one month high on Indonesian shipments halt
By Harpreet Bhal and Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, Sept 5 Copper prices edged slightly
lower on Thursday, as the dollar strengthened but losses were
capped by expectations that a revival in demand from top
consumer China will gather pace.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
untraded at the close but was last bid at $7,108 down slightly
from a close of $7,134 on Wednesday when the metal used in power
and construction fell close to 2 percent.
Weighing on the metal was a stronger dollar, which rose to a
seven-week peak against the euro after European Central Bank
President said the bank's Governing Council expects key ECB
interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an
A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. unit
more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The dollar has been supported in recent weeks by
expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin to
withdraw stimulus measures as early as this month due to signs
of improvement in the economy.
This view was bolstered by solid U.S. jobs and service
sector data on Thursday.
"You have a Fed that is poised and ready to start tapering
and I think they want to go ahead with this as they feel they
are in danger of expanding their balance sheet too much," said
Nic Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis.
"It may well be possible to give the market some reassurance
in the form of stronger forward guidance to offset withdrawal of
some of the liquidity being injected currently through Q.E."
Investors are expected to closely monitor key U.S. jobs
figures, due on Friday, for further evidence of the pace of
recovery in the world's largest economy.
The U.S. economy expanded at a "modest to moderate" pace in
most of the country between early July and late August,
according to a Federal Reserve report that was just strong
enough to reinforce the prospect of a pullback in monetary
Supporting prices were expectations of a rebound in demand
from China, where economic data has been pointing to a recovery
in the world's second largest economy.
Recent figures showed growth in China's services sector hit
a five-month high in August, underpinned by optimism over
government policy measures.
"We've had some decent PMIs around the world in the last
week, Chinese numbers are now looking significantly more
positive, the U.S. numbers still look decent and there have been
some pleasant surprises in Europe, so generally the economic
data is looking a little more solid," Brown said.
Benchmark tin prices rose to a one-month high at
$22,299.50 a tonne after Indonesia's No. 1 tin exporter,
state-backed PT Timah, said it halted shipments and
declared force majeure, blaming new trading rules and dealing a
blow to government efforts to boost the nation's influence in
It then closed at $22,050, up from a close of $21,870 on
The shortfall in supply has helped drive up cash prices to a
$125 premium against the benchmark three-month contract during
Wednesday's evaluation, the highest level since August 2010.
Aluminium closed at $1,798 from $1,790, while zinc
finished at $1,870 from $1,874. Lead closed at
$2,124 from Wednesday's close of $2,142 and nickel at
$13,730 from $13,680.