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METALS-Copper slips but posts biggest weekly gain since September
July 4, 2014 / 10:57 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-Copper slips but posts biggest weekly gain since September

* U.S. economic data boosts confidence

* Copper ends up 3 percent for the week

* U.S. markets shut for Independence Day holiday (Updates with closing prices, details)

By Harpreet Bhal

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped on Friday but still posted their biggest weekly rise in more than nine months, having earlier hit a four-month peak as U.S. jobs data boosted the demand outlook for industrial metals.

Benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) copper rose to a session high of $7,190 per tonne, its highest level since Feb. 19, and posted a 3 percent gain for the week, the biggest weekly rise since Sept. 20.

It ended down 0.35 percent at $7,150 a tonne.

Confidence was boosted after data showed U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the unemployment rate declined, allaying fears about the economy’s health after a weather-hit start to the year.

That came after a survey showed that global business activity picked up in June, with new orders pouring in at their fastest rate in over three years.

Some analysts expected the metal used in power and construction could tick lower following its recent gains.

“As index buying slows and producer selling emerges, a pull back is due,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at T-Commodity.

“A test of 6,900 will be pivotal (for copper) and if it holds we might see a new top at 7,400-7,500 in August.”

Copper stocks in LME warehouses have ticked up in the past few sessions, but still remain close to six-year lows MCU-STOCKS near 150,000 tonnes.

Some fund managers are increasing exposure to copper mining companies, betting the industry has reached the bottom of a downturn and that shares offer value for money.

Aluminium stocks MAL-STOCKS fell by 9,100 tonnes to 5,049,225 tonnes. Benchmark aluminium slipped 0.67 percent to close at $1,923 per tonne, after hitting a 10-month high in the previous session.

“LME aluminium stocks have been reduced by 5.6 percent ... since the end of April, putting them close to their lowest level since October 2012. Nonetheless, we believe that this justifies neither the increase in the LME aluminium price nor the sharp rise in premiums,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

“The key role here is played by financial transactions which remain attractive in view of the low interest rates and pronounced contango of the forward curve.”

Zinc ended almost flat at $2,237 a tonne, and tin closed at $22,775, down 0.55 percent.

Nickel closed at $19,400, down 2.37 percent; and lead ended at $2,181, down 0.68 percent.

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 (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Sydney and Maytaal Angel in London; Editing by William Hardy and Pravin Char)

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