Copper is sensitive to the economic growth outlook because of its widespread uses across industries. The U.S. is second behind China in global copper demand.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.323 a pound during European morning trade, down 0.55%. Comex copper prices held in a range between USD3.322 a pound and USD3.367 a pound.
The March contract ended Friday’s session up 1.29% to settle at USD3.341 a pound. Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.289 a pound, the low from January 10 and resistance at USD3.377 a pound, the high from January 8.
The U.S. economy added just 74,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday, the smallest increase since January 2011 and well below expectations for 196,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 6.7% last month from 7% in November, but this was due in part to people dropping out of the labor force. The labor participation rate fell to an almost 35-year low of 62.8%.
The disappointing data cooled expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut its stimulus program again this month. The central bank cited a stronger labor market in its decision to taper its asset purchase program by USD10 billion in December to USD75 billion-a-month.
Minutes of the Fed’s December meeting released last week showed that officials were keen to stress that further reductions in stimulus were not on a “preset course” and would be undertaken in “measured” steps. The central bank is scheduled to meet January 28-29 to review the economy and assess policy.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for February delivery dipped 0.1% to trade at USD1,245.40 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery shed 0.75% to trade at USD20.07 a troy ounce. investing.com