4 Min Read
* China markets to reopen on Monday after week of holidays
* Indonesia reconsiders nickel ore export ban
* Dollar pares gains after September U.S. payrolls data
* Aluminium prices hit seven-week high (Updates prices)
By Swetha Gopinath
LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday after the dollar pared gains on data showing U.S. employers took on fewer workers than expected in September, indicating the Federal Reserve could be more cautious about raising interest rates.
A weaker dollar boosts the buying power of those paying for commodities with other currencies.
U.S. employment growth unexpectedly slowed for the third straight month with a rise of 156,000, compared to a consensus of 175,000.
"The dollar edged lower after the payrolls and encouraged a moderate rally in base metal prices," said Xiao Fu, head of commodity markets strategy at Bank of China International.
Analysts said they were also closely watching the British pound.
Sterling plunged 10 percent in a matter of minutes on Friday in what traders said was a "flash crash" driven by computer-initiated sell orders.
"Base metals are quite insulated from movements in the pound, but we are closely watching it. If disorderly declines are seen in the pound, it could affect market sentiment," Fu added.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended 0.4 percent higher at $4,775 a tonne. Aluminium closed down 0.1 percent at $1,675. It hit $1,682.50 earlier in the session, its highest since Aug. 19.
Copper prices could be pressured as Chinese financial markets reopen on Monday after a week-long holiday, analysts said.
Traders are concerned a raft of new measures announced by Beijing this week to dampen soaring house prices in second and third tier cities will weigh on copper demand.
"Copper has been the underperformer (among base metals), which may not change in 2017 as China's refined imports may decline yet again on higher domestic refined production," metals strategist Michael Widmer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note.
Among other metals, LME nickel closed down 0.2 percent at $10,230 as traders shrugged off news that Indonesia could export up to 15 million tonnes of nickel ore in 2017 if it amends a ban on unprocessed ore exports introduced in 2014.
"There is an interesting dynamic between developments in Indonesia and the Philippines," said Fu. "Increased supplies from Indonesia could be offset by reduced output in the Philippines."
The Philippines said last Friday it might not halt operations at all 20 mines facing suspension for environmental violations and will give them time to address problems, a softening of the stance that has resulted in 10 mine closures.
Zinc rose 0.2 percent to $2,325, lead closed up 1.1 percent at $2,076, while tin ended 0.5 percent lower at $20,000 a tonne.
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 in Melbourne; Editing by William Hardy and Andrew Heavens