METALS-Copper chalks up biggest weekly gain since August
By Peter Hobson
LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Copper registered its largest weekly gain since late August, underpinned by expectations of strong demand from top consumer China, though a strengthening dollar capped price rises.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended 0.5 percent down at $6,667 a tonne after peaking at $6,724, the highest since Sept. 12.
The metal used in power and construction has risen more than 20 percent this year and was on track for a 2.9 percent weekly gain.
A deficit in the global refined copper market in the last three months of the year would keep prices high, said ABN AMRO analyst Casper Burgering.
"The base case for copper remains solid ... There are no indications that demand will slow," he said, predicting prices at $6,800-$6,850 by the end of the year.
VOLUMES: Trading activity was low with Chinese markets closed on the last day of the country's Golden Week holiday.
GERMAN FACTORIES: German industrial orders bounced back in August, rising more than expected on strong foreign demand. DOLLAR: The U.S. currency was set for a fourth consecutive week of gains, helped by expectations of a U.S. interest rate rise in December. A stronger dollar makes industrial metals more expensive for holders of other currencies, potentially dampening demand. PAYROLLS: U.S. employment fell in September because of the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but the unemployment rate and wage growth suggested an improving labour market. COPPER TECHNICALS: Support was around $6,580-$6,600 with resistance at $6,775-$6,800, said brokers Marex Spectron in a note. The 50-day and 21-day moving averages were both around $6,550 a tonne.
LME ZINC: Three-month zinc closed 1.6 percent down at 3,235 a tonne, having reached a 10-year high of $3,308.75 on Wednesday.
SUPPLY: Zinc prices have risen more than 26 percent this year as a Chinese crackdown on polluting industry curbed output, with inventories in LME warehouses dropping to their lowest since 2009. SPREAD: A shortage of immediately available metal in LME warehouses pushed the premium for LME cash zinc over the three-month contract to $65.50 a tonne, close to last month's 10-year high of $66. PRICES: Three-month aluminium ended 0.8 percent down at $2,154 a tonne while nickel finished with a 0.6 percent gain at $10,600. Tin fell by 1.9 percent to $20,550 by the close, with lead finishing 2.3 percent down at $2,533.
<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Top base and precious metals analysis - GFMS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Additional reporting by James Regan and Maytaal Angel; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Goodman)