MELBOURNE, March 9 London copper fell on
Thursday after solid U.S. jobs data increased the likelihood of
an interest rate hike this month and on signs that disruption at
the world's biggest copper mine may soon ease.
* London Metal Exchange copper slipped to $5,719 a
tonne by 0030 GMT, after ending a tad lower in the previous
session. It earlier in the session touched its weakest at $5710
since Jan. 20.
* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper receded 1.3
percent to 46,620 yuan ($6,747) a tonne.
* LME nickel slid 1.5 percent, while ShFE nickel
tumbled more than 6 percent on the possibility that the
Philippines' hardline environmental minister may not be
confirmed by Congress, opening the door to a new minister that
may be more permissive to the mining sector after Lopez shut
scores of mines for environmental degradation.
* U.S. private sector job growth recorded its biggest
increase in more than a year in February amid a surge in
construction and factory hiring, suggesting the economy remains
on solid ground despite an apparent further slowdown in the
* German industrial output rose more than expected in
January, driven by strong demand for machinery, cars and other
capital goods, suggesting Europe's biggest economy started into
2017 on a solid footing despite the threat of rising
* China unexpectedly posted its first trade gap in three
years in February as a construction boom pushed imports much
higher than expected and as increasing U.S. protectionist
rhetoric casts a spotlight on the export giant's trade position.
The upbeat import reading reinforced the growing view that
economic activity in China picked up in the first two months of
the year, adding to a global manufacturing revival.
* BHP Billiton, may try to restart
production at the world's No.1 copper mine Escondida in Chile
using temporary workers once the strike surpasses 30 days, the
company told a local radio station on Wednesday.
* Spot processing fees in Asia for copper concentrate have
slid to their cheapest in four years as shutdowns at the world's
top two mines in Chile and Indonesia grind on longer than
anticipated, and it is likely they will drop further in the
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* The dollar stood firm in Asia on Thursday and bond yields
spiked after super-strong U.S. jobs data made a rate hike a near
certainty, while oil nursed bruising losses as U.S. stockpiles
swelled past all expectations.
DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
0130 China Consumer prices Feb
0130 China Producer prices Feb
1245 European Central Bank interest rate announcement
1330 European Central Bank press conference
1330 U.S. Import prices Feb
1330 U.S. Export prices Feb
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
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
($1 = 6.9101 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Vyas Mohan)