Copper edges higher on weak dollar, U.S. jobs report eyed

09/03/2021 | 03:23am

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday as the dollar sank to its lowest in almost a month, and was on track for a second straight weekly gain ahead of a crucial U.S. jobs report that is expected to guide markets on the timing and pace of Federal Reserve tapering.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1% at $9,386 a tonne by 0702 GMT, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.4% higher at 69,090 yuan ($10,698.69) a tonne.

Ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report, due at 1230 GMT, data on Thursday suggested an improvement in the labour market as the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, while layoffs dropped to their lowest level in more than 24 years in August.

"Initial claims data indicate that the improvement in the jobs market has continued despite the spread of the Delta variant," ANZ analysts said in a note.

"Whatever the outcome of non-farm payrolls, it is clear that the financial markets are so far taking expectations of U.S. tapering well," they said.

* The dollar dropped to its lowest in almost a month against major rivals, making greenback-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.

* LME aluminium was virtually flat at $2,694 a tonne, holding onto gains and hovering near a 10-year peak scaled on Thursday driven by fears of tight supply.

* In Shanghai, the most-traded October aluminium gained 0.3% to 21,255 yuan a tonne, having hit a 13-year high of 21,550 yuan earlier this week.

* LME nickel edged down 0.4% to $19,380 a tonne, while Shanghai nickel fell 1% to 145,540 yuan a tonne.

* First-half nickel output from the Philippines, the biggest supplier of nickel ore to top metals consumer China, rose 39% from a year earlier.

* LME zinc advanced 0.7% to $3,001 a tonne, while Shanghai zinc climbed 1% to 22,415 yuan a tonne.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.4578 yuan) (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

© Reuters 2021
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