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METALS-Copper rises on mining cutback hopes, dollar caps gains
October 15, 2015 / 12:25 PM / 2 years ago

METALS-Copper rises on mining cutback hopes, dollar caps gains

* Copper prices rise as miners consider production cuts

* Dollar rebounds on renewed Fed rate hike hopes, weighing on metals

* Collahuasi copper mine expansion postponed (Recasts, updates with closing prices)

By Mariana Ionova

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Thursday on hopes for further production cuts from miners, but a rebound in the dollar kept a lid on gains.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 0.2 percent higher at $5,308 a tonne, after climbing near a four-week high earlier in the session.

Prices were supported by expectations for a tightening of the market as several mining groups consider output cuts in the face of slowing demand growth in China, which accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption.

“The supply side is finally responding and drawing back a little bit, and hopefully that will stimulate prices,” said Asa Bridle, mining analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Chile’s second-biggest copper mine Collahuasi, owned by Anglo American and Glencore, has postponed expansion plans, on top of its previously announced cuts.

Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, also said on Wednesday it would have to rethink or delay expansion projects after lower metal prices weighed on its earnings.

This follows Glencore’s announcement last month that it will suspend operations at some of its units in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo for 18 months, removing 400,000 tonnes of cathode from the market.

“We’re going to have to see more supply curtailed until we reach some point of equilibrium,” Bridle said. “This is certainly not the end of it but companies like Glencore have set somewhat of a precedent.”

But gains were pared by a stronger dollar, which bounced from seven-week lows after upbeat U.S. consumer price data renewed sagging expectations that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates this year.

A stronger dollar makes metals denominated in the currency more expensive for non-U.S. buyers.

Copper has recently rebounded after ample supplies and worries over China’s economy pushed prices to six-year lows in August.

Yet recent weak data out of the world’s second largest economy has also fuelled expectations for further fiscal support measures, including a potential boost to infrastructure spending that could help copper demand.

“This year has been all about worries about China and that still remains the key thing,” said Stephen Briggs, strategist at BNP Paribas. “And, perhaps because sentiment became so grim in July and August, people are feeling a little less gloomy about China.”

Among other metals, zinc rose 0.6 percent to $1,827, lead gained 0.1 percent to $1,795 and tin dipped 0.3 percent to $16,050. Nickel was untraded at close but was last bid 0.7 percent up at $10,55.

Aluminium closed 1.2 percent lower at $1,574, weighed by large stocks and a surge in Chinese exports this year.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active She copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active She aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active She zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active She lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active She nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active She tin (Reporting by Mariana Ionova. Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter)

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