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Copper prices fail to hold $8,200 after US jobs data


Copper prices retreated below $8,200 per tonne in kerb trading on the London Metal Exchange on Friday May 4, under pressure after US employment data for April lagged expectations.

Non-farms payroll data showed 115,000 jobs were added in April, down from 154,000 in the previous month. Unemployment stood at 8.1%, up ten basis points from the previous month.

Copper prices came under pressure over the course of the week as market participants anticipated a disappointing jobs number, and positions were trimmed further ahead of the close of trading on Friday.

Three-month copper was trading at $8,166 per tonne at 16:33 BST, having recorded an intraday low of $8,146.50 per tonne earlier in the kerb session as the euro slid below $1.31 in the move out of risk assets following the jobs data.

The incentive to trim LME exposure was heightened ahead of elections in France and Greece due to be held over the weekend, and the closure of UK markets on Monday during a public holiday, sources said.

“Just imagine that things don’t go to plan in Greece over the weekend, and you’ve got to spend all of Monday watching the markets roil while the LME’s closed. I definitely wouldn’t want to run a big position over this weekend, and it doesn’t look like anyone else does either,” a physical trader told Metal Bulletin.

Copper stocks in LME-listed locations stood at 230,625 tonnes, down by 4,575 tonnes.

Three-month aluminium traded at $2,073 per tonne at 16:44 BST, down from an opening price of $2,088 per tonne.

Aluminium stocks in LME-listed warehouses stood at 4,990,075 tonnes, down by 14,125 tonnes after deliveries out of several stores including Detroit and Vlissingen.

Three-month zinc was trading at $1,997 per tonne at 16:47 BST, up $3 on its opening price.

LME zinc stocks totalled 925,550 tonnes, down by 1,525 tonnes from a day earlier.

Mark Burton
Twitter: @mburtonmb

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