METALS-Copper extends losses after weak U.S. job data

by on July 6, 2012 2:00 pm BST

Fri Jul 6, 2012 10:00am EDT

* U.S. non-farm payrolls data weaker than expected
    * China rate cuts may anticipate weak data next weak
    * Copper hits session low of $7,559.75

    By Silvia Antonioli
    LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Copper extended losses on Friday under the
weight of a stronger dollar after data from the United States showed the
job market in the world's biggest economy was not healing quickly enough,
which added to worries about a severe slowdown in China.
    Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down almost 2
percent at $7,566.25 per tonne by 1326 GMT, from $7,695 at Thursday's
close. It was on track for a 1.5 percent fall on the week.
    The metal used in power and construction fell to a session low of
$7,559.75 shortly after a report showed that U.S. employers hired at a
dismal pace in June. 
    The euro extended losses to fall to a fresh five-week low against the
dollar after the jobs report stoked strong risk aversion and prompted a
flight to safe havens. 
    A stronger U.S. currency makes dollar-priced commodities such as base
metals costlier for holders of other currencies.
    "The data was below expectations and made the dollar jump, which put
pressure on metals," T-commodity consultant Gianclaudio Torlizzi said.
    "But the fall might be short-lived as the data was not terrible. It
wasn't bad enough to boost expectations of monetary easing in the U.S. but
it wasn't good enough to exclude it completely."
    Copper, however, was already in negative territory before the release
of the U.S. job data as although China, the euro zone and Britain all
loosened monetary policy on Thursday, investors were underwhelmed by the
central banks' moves.  
    "The rate cut in China raised concerns that a string of economic data
that will be published next week might be significantly weaker than
previously expected," Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank said.
    "One could argue that China's central bank knows something that people
don't and bad data would raise more fears of a hard landing in China." 
    China's rate cut preceded comments by Vice Premier Wang Qishan that the
world's second-largest economy would have difficulty meeting its 10 percent
trade growth target this year, which some investors said may signal its
downturn is deeper than expected. 
    The European Central Bank cut interest rates to a record low but
steered clear of more dramatic measures such as buying government bonds or
flooding banks with fresh liquidity. 
    "Instead of being encouraged by the central banks' moves, many
interpret them as a sign that these governments are worried about their
economies," said a Shanghai-based trader.
    In other metals, aluminium was at $1,915 from $1,944 at
Thursday's close; zinc - used in galvanising - was at $1,844.50
from $1,854 and battery material lead was at $1,862 from $1,887.
    Tin was bid at $18,720 from a last bid of $18,875 on Thursday
and nickel was at $16,513 from $16,700.
 Metal Prices at 1331 GMT
 Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T
  Metal            Last      Change  Pct Move   End 2011   Ytd Pct
  COMEX Cu       342.15       -7.00     -2.00     344.75     -0.75
  LME Alum      1913.75      -30.25     -1.56    2020.00     -5.26
  LME Cu        7553.00     -142.00     -1.85    7600.00     -0.62
  LME Lead      1860.75      -26.25     -1.39    2034.00     -8.52
  LME Nickel   16518.00     -182.00     -1.09   18650.00    -11.43
  LME Tin      18740.00     -410.00     -2.14   19200.00     -2.40
  LME Zinc      1842.25      -11.75     -0.63    1845.00     -0.15
  SHFE Alu     15615.00      -85.00     -0.54   15845.00     -1.45
  SHFE Cu*     55810.00     -280.00     -0.50   55360.00      0.81
  SHFE Zin     14725.00      -95.00     -0.64   14795.00     -0.47
 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper
 * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
 SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07