* Copper recovers from biggest weekly fall since Dec
* Workers at Peru copper mine began strike on Friday
(Updates with closing prices)
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, March 13 The price of copper rose 1
percent on Monday to its highest level in over two weeks, buoyed
mostly by supply disruptions after workers at Peru's top copper
miner downed tools indefinitely late last week.
Workers at Freeport-McMoRan's Cerro Verde
in Peru started an indefinite strike on Friday that halted
output of about 40,000 tonnes per month.
This added to supply disruptions caused by a month-long
stoppage at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile and
Freeport's Grasberg mine in Indonesia.
"Fundamentals are positive for base metals and for copper.
Both if you look at the trend in mining production and the
short-term disruptions adding some support," said Danske
commodities analyst Jens Pedersen.
However, base metal prices are unlikely to rise much further
ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week, Pedersen
said, as expectations of an interest rate increase will push up
the dollar, making metals more expensive for investors holding
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed 1.1 percent higher at $5,796 a tonne.
The contract price fell 3.1 percent last week, the most
since December, partly on a stronger dollar as expectations rose
that the Federal Reserve will announce a rate rise on Wednesday.
Other commodities also suffered their biggest weekly
declines in months last week after recent rallies showed signs
of petering out, pressured by a glut and tepid demand from top
BMI Research said it raised its 2017 copper price forecast
to $5,500 from $5,150 on solid Chinese demand growth and supply
The union at BHP's Escondida mine, the world's largest,
rejected BHP's offer to return to the negotiating table on
Saturday, and called on the company to clarify its negotiating
Zinc jumped 1.6 percent to $2,757 a tonne, its
highest level in a week. Aluminium gained 0.1 percent to
$1,882 per tonne.
Nickel climbed 2.7 percent, its biggest daily jump
in nearly a month, to $10,160 a tonne, after sliding 10 percent
Lead rose 0.5 percent to $2,274, while tin
traded 0.5 percent higher at $19,450 per 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 Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Susan
Fenton, Greg Mahlich)