METALS-Copper falls as dollar inches near 1-year high
(Updates prices, adds quotes)
Oct 5 (Reuters) – London copper prices fell on Tuesday as dollar gained strength, amid tepid trade as markets in top consumer China were closed for a public holiday.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.9% to $9,167 a tonne by 0616 GMT, aluminium fell 0.3% to $2,908 a tonne, nickel eased 0.2% to $17,890 a tonne and zinc advanced 0.2% to $3,022 a tonne.
The U.S. dollar edged toward a one-year high against major peers, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies, ahead of a key payrolls report at the end of the week that could boost the case for the Federal Reserve to start tapering stimulus as soon as next month.
“Without the crude (oil) story, we should have drifted lower on strong U.S. dollar and more dominos falling in China. It’s a drift lower with spikes higher when China eases Evergrande uncertainty issues,” said a Singapore-based metals trader.
Crude oil prices rose on supply concerns. The trader said higher crude oil prices might deter some metal makers from producing due to higher cost.
Debt issues at property giant China Evergrande have triggered risk-off sentiment on fear of a global financial crisis and potentially hurt metals demand in the construction sector.
China is on holiday from Oct. 1-7.
* Chile’s top miners saw their production of copper fall in August, Chilean state copper commission Cochilco said on Monday, impacted in part by a strike at a mine owned by state miner Codelco.
* Global copper smelting activity rebounded in September as higher treatment charges spurred many smelters to increase output, data from satellite surveillance showed on Monday.
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