Copper advances on weak dollar, Chile supply threat
Copper prices rose on Monday as a weak dollar and a potential strike at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s biggest copper mine, supported prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 rose 0.3% to $9,760.50 a tonne by 0627 GMT, while the most-traded September contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 dipped 0.3% to 71,470 yuan ($11,057.65) a tonne.
The dollar hovered just above a one-month low, making greenback-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies, as traders eyed U.S. jobs data due later this week.
The Union of workers at BHP Group Ltd’s BHP.AX Escondida mine rejected the firm’s final labour contract offer, prompting BHP to request government-mediated talks, which will last five to 10 days before a strike begins if no agreement is reached.
Prices were also supported by solid U.S. demand, but copper consumption in China – which accounts for around half of global demand – remained weak, said He Tianyu, a CRU copper analyst.
China’s factory activity in July expanded at the slowest pace in 17 months due to higher raw material costs, equipment maintenance and extreme weather.
However, demand from the Chinese infrastructure sector might improve in the second half if prices fall, He said.
* LME aluminium CMAL3 rose 0.8% to $2,611.50 a tonne, nickel CMNI3 advanced 0.6% to $19,670 a tonne while ShFE nickel SNIcv1 shed 0.5% to 146,460 yuan a tonne, tracking losses in the steel sector on supply fears.
* U.S. senators finalized details on Sunday of a sweeping $1-trillion plan to invest in roads, bridges, ports, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some predicting the chamber would pass the bipartisan legislation this week.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)