LONDON: Copper prices eased on Friday as the dollar firmed ahead of key US jobs data that is expected to cement the path towards monetary tightening, but supply tightness capped losses.
A firm set of non-farm payroll figures is likely to boost the dollar, undermining demand for commodities priced in the currency.
In addition, markets were on edge due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with countries introducing new restrictions to slow its spread which could potentially derail the global economic recovery.
“Copper and other base metals are holding up well despite the bearish news like the new variant, China slowdown, and potential tightening by the Federal Reserve,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.
Supply tightness in most base metals has underpinned prices, Torlizzi said, adding that he was advising clients to hedge and gain long exposure to the base metals complex.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) lost 0.4% to $9,460.50 per tonne by 1225 GMT.
INVENTORIES: Visible stocks of copper in exchange warehouses eased, pointing to firm demand for the metal used in power and construction.
In warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper stocks shed 13.7% to 36,110 tonnes, according to weekly data.
Copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses, at 78,350 tonnes, are about a third of levels registered in late August.
PERU: Miner MMG Ltd said on Friday it would wind down copper production from its Las Bambas operations in Peru by mid-December after failing to establish commercial relationships with local community organisations.
The mine produced 400,000 tonnes of copper a year, about 2% of the total global output.
CHILE OUTPUT: Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper miner, saw output in October drop 9.9% year-on-year to 144,100 tonnes, Chilean state copper commission Cochilco said.
OTHER METALS: LME aluminium gained 1.2% to $2,631 a tonne, zinc added 1.2% to $3,184, lead shed 0.9% to $2,235, tin was down 0.8% to $39,275 while nickel was up 0.6% at $20,065.