Copper prices closed with gains on Friday despite of an earlier decline triggered by fears of an economic recession in the U.S.

A report from the U.S. Labor Department today showed the largest drop in payrolls since 2003, renewing concerns that the second largest consumer of copper in the world may fall into recession.

The Labor Department said 63,000 non farm jobs were eliminated in February compared to a loss of 22,000 in the previous month. The data was weaker than expected and the red metal fell to $3.8560 after the report.

Later, copper futures for delivery in three months closed $1.80 or 0.46 percent up to $3.9215 a pound on the Comex division of the New York mercantile exchange.

Declining inventories of copper and a falling dollar combined with demand from China supported prices today.

Inventories on the London Metal Exchange warehouses fell by 1,525 metric tons to a total of 134,275 metric tons.

On Friday, the U.S. dollar set a new record low against the euro.

Copper futures in the LME fell $127 or 1.45 percent to $8,633 a metric ton on Friday.