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METALS-Copper snaps 6-day losing streak as inventory build-up falters
March 10, 2017 / 11:54 AM / 9 months ago

METALS-Copper snaps 6-day losing streak as inventory build-up falters

* LME copper stocks fall after rapid build-up

* Strike begins at Peru’s Cerro Verde mine

* Week-long commodities rout loses steam

* Nickel heads for worst week since May 2015

* Coming up: U.S. Feb nonfarm payrolls at 1330 GMT (Updates with official prices, strike start)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday after six straight sessions of decline as a surge in inventories halted and workers began an indefinite strike at the Cerro Verde mine in Peru, raising supply fears.

Industrial metals rose broadly as a week-long rout of global commodities caused by a strong dollar, concerns of supply gluts and tepid demand from China began to falter.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded up 0.7 percent in official rings at $5,729 a tonne. Prices fell to $5,652, their lowest since Jan. 10, in the previous session.

“Another supply disruption has returned attention to the possibility of a drawn-out disruption having a negative impact on supplies,” Ole Hansen at Saxo Bank said.

“That’s offsetting what has otherwise been a week where the market has been focusing on the dollar, which has been going higher, and these strong rises in LME inventories,” he said.

Workers at Cerro Verde mine in Peru downed tools on Friday, halting output of 40,000 tonnes per month in a dispute over labour conditions.

The action adds to disruptions at the world’s two largest copper mines in Chile and Indonesia.

Copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL fell by 1,800 tonnes on Friday. But stockpiles are still 125,500 tonnes, or 63 percent, higher than at the start of March and at their highest since December.

Rising inventories have helped push the copper price down 4 percent so far this month, spurring investors to abandon bets on higher prices. A record long position has largely unwound, reducing the risk of big price falls for copper, said Guy Wolf at Marex Spectron.

“After a wave of negative headlines and data-points bringing us back into the mid-$5k‘s, that is a better place to be expressing long positions in our view,” he said.

Tin traded 0.2 percent higher in official rings at $19,300 a tonne.

Aluminium did not trade but was bid up 1.6 percent at $1,897 a tonne. Zinc was bid 1.2 percent higher at $2,712 and lead was bid up 0.5 percent at $2,262.

Nickel fell, trading 0.8 percent lower at $10,065 a tonne in official rings. The metal used in stainless steel has fallen more than 8 percent this week, its biggest weekly fall since May 2015, on concerns that mine supply from the Philippines may pick up just as Indonesia resumes exports.

Indonesian state miner PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (Antam) said on Friday it would apply next week for a permit to export 6 million tonnes of nickel ore for a year.


Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans)

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