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METALS-Copper prices climb as U.S. job data boosts demand prospects

(Updates prices)

July 5 (Reuters) - Prices of copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, advanced on Monday on hopes of stronger demand for metals and amid a sustained U.S. economic recovery after data showed an acceleration in hiring in the world’s biggest economy.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 1.4% at $9,505 a tonne, as of 0710 GMT, and the most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 1.7% higher at 69,520 yuan ($10,761.28) a tonne.

U.S. companies in June hired the most workers in 10 months, raising wages and offering incentives to entice millions of unemployed Americans sitting at home, in a tentative sign that a labour shortage hanging over the economy was starting to ease.

“Wage growth tends to lead to strong demand for durable goods, a key sector for the metals markets,” said ANZ analysts in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Global copper smelting activity slipped in June after a rebound a month earlier as Chinese plants closed for maintenance while production of nickel pig iron jumped, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed.

* Chilean miner Antofagasta PLC signed contracts to supply Chinese copper smelters with copper concentrate at treatment charges of around the mid-$50s per tonne in deals covering at least half of next year, sources said.

* ShFE aluminium rose 3% to 19,255 yuan a tonne, nickel advanced 1.6% to 136,900 yuan a tonne and tin increased 1.9% to 215,670 yuan a tonne.

* ShFE aluminium inventories in ShFE warehouses AL-STX-SGH fell to 278,383 tonnes, their lowest since Feb. 10, while copper stocks CU-STX-SGH declined to their lowest since Feb. 19 at 142,520 tonnes.

* Meanwhile, copper stocks in bonded warehouses in China SMM-CUR-BON rose to their highest since July 2019 at 435,600 tonnes, SMM data showed.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.4602 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Louise Heavens)

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