METALS-Copper ends firm on U.S. jobs data, supply threats

* Copper up nearly 6 pct on week; aluminum near 2-yr top

* Collahuasi strike action underpins copper

* Coming up: G20 meeting next week

(Updates with New York closing copper price, adds NEW YORK
dateline/byline and analyst comments)

By Chris Kelly and Melanie Burton

NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Copper rose slightly on
Friday and posted its biggest weekly gain in more than three
months on support from a weak dollar outlook, surprisingly strong
U.S. labor data and a strike in top-producer Chile.

Copper flirted with its record high and other commodities have
soared in recent week on prospects that the Federal Reserve’s
injection of $600 billion to shore up the economy will accelerate
inflation and increase demand for raw materials.

“I believe that the market is starting to price in more future
inflation as a result of the announcement,” said Adam Klopfenstein
Senior Market Strategist at Lind-Waldock.

On the London Metal Exchange (LME), benchmark copper for
three-month delivery (CMCU3: ) climbed to its highest in over two
years at $8,769.50 a tonne, within $200 of an all-time peak of
$8,940 hit in July 2008. It closed up $60 at $8,660 a tonne.

On the COMEX metals division of the New York Mercantile
Exchange, copper for December delivery (HGZ0: ) rose 3.65 cents to
close at $3.9485 per lb, the highest level for the second-position
futures contract on a settlement basis since July 3, 2008.

The pace of business was brisk. Volume traded stood at 53,000
lots, more than 40 percent above the 30-day average at 37,000
lots, Thomson Reuters preliminary data showed.

“With a low interest-rate environment and a weak dollar, it’s
very conducive for commodity prices,” said Michael K. Smith,
president of T & K Futures and Options Inc. in Port St. Lucie,
Florida.

Surprisingly strong October employment data, showing the U.S.
economy added 151,000 jobs against a forecast 60,000 in a Reuters
analyst poll, added to the momentum.

Supply-side threats only added to the metal’s bullish tone
this week. Union workers on Friday walked off the job at Chile’s
Collahuasi, the world’s third-largest copper mine.
[ID:nSGE6A404A]

A strike during Collahuasi’s last wage talks in 2007 lasted
four days. Analysts feel this time around could be more severe.

“These miners are very attuned to where the price of copper
is. They’re going to hold out for much more sizable increases in
pay than what they have in the past,” said Anthony Young, analyst
with Dahlman Rose.

The discount for cash copper against the three-months contract
has narrowed to $5 from $12.50 on Monday. (MCU0-3: )

Continuing declines in LME warehouse stocks of copper
underline strength in demand. Copper inventories last fell 975
tonnes to 366,350 tonnes, near a one-year low, having dropped by a
third from February’s eight-year highs. (MCU-STOCKS: )

Looking ahead, the market’s focus will be on next week’s G20
meeting in South Korea, which could impact metals via the currency
markets. [ID:nLDE6A30Y7]

In other metals, aluminum (CMAL3: ) hit a session high of
$2,488, well within reach of a two-year high at $2,494, which it
hit in September 2008.

The metal has been boosted by fund buying and an improving
outlook from the auto sector, a key consumer of the metal.

Data this week showed U.S. auto sales attained the best
monthly rate of the year in October. [ID:nN0398672]

It closed down $8 at $2,452 a tonne.

Nickel (CMNI3: ) closed down $50 at $24,450 a tonne, while zinc
(CMZN3: ) rose $16 to $2,528. Lead shed $23 to $2,506 a tonne and
tin dipped $60 to $26,440.
Metal Prices at 1931 GMT
COMEX copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in
yuan/T
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2009 Ytd Pct

move
COMEX Cu 395.55 4.35 +1.11 334.65 18.20
LME Alum 2445.00 -15.00 -0.61 2230.00 9.64
LME Cu 8670.00 70.00 +0.81 7375.00 17.56
LME Lead 2505.00 -24.00 -0.95 2432.00 3.00
LME Nickel 24400.00 -100.00 -0.41 18525.00 31.71
LME Tin 26400.00 -100.00 -0.38 16950.00 55.75
LME Zinc 2525.00 13.00 +0.52 2560.00 -1.37
SHFE Alu 17005.00 325.00 +1.95 17160.00 -0.90
SHFE Cu* 67050.00 2590.00 +4.02 59900.00 11.94
SHFE Zin 20895.00 820.00 +4.08 21195.00 -1.42
** Benchmark month for COMEX copper
* 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
(Additional reporting by Rebekah Curtis in London; Editing by
Lisa Shumaker)

METALS-Copper ends firm on U.S. jobs data, supply threats