Copper futures recovered on Friday from a sell-off the previous day and but gained support by better than expected jobless data and factory orders in the United States. Prices also rose amid worries on short supplies from top exporter Chile.
Futures dropped 5.4 percent yesterday after the dollar rallied against the euro and six major currencies. But today the metal jumped despite gains in the dollar as the labor strike in Codelco the top world producer is keeping three copper mines closed including the world's largest underground mine El Teniente.
Easing concerns that demand in the U.S. may weaken, a report today showed 20,000 jobs were lost in March, much less than the 80,000 expected according to Reuters surveys. A separate report said new orders at U.S. factories jumped 1.4 percent in March surpassing forecasts and durable good orders for the month gained 0.1 percent.
Copper futures for July delivery rose 12.6 cents or 3.41 percent to $3.8205 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange Comex division. Prices have risen 26 this year as global inventories have declined. The red metal hit a new record high of $4.045 a pound on April 17.
The euro fell against the dollar today to $1.5362 the lowest since March 24 from $1.5470 previous to the jobless report. A stronger dollar normally weakens demand for commodities who are bought to compensate for inflation.
Inventories of copper are diminishing, in the London Metal Exchange copper supplies fell 450 metric tons to 109,625 metric tons on Friday. In the Comex warehouses copper inventories were steady at 10,827 short tons.
Copper futures for delivery in three months fell $331.50 or 3.83 percent to $8,316 a metric ton in the London Metal Exchange.