May 3, 2019 / 11:38 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper jumps on weaker dollar but logs weekly loss

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

* LME copper stocks have surged since Feb. (Updates with dollar decline, closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday on a weaker dollar and expectations for progress in U.S.-China trade talks, but the move higher was not enough to rescue prices from their worst week since November.

A slide in the dollar boosted the appeal of most base metals which are priced in the U.S. currency, making them cheaper for holders of other currencies.

“The (softer) dollar definitely seems to have improved sentiment in the commodities market,” said Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain.

Investors also remained upbeat before U.S.-China trade talks next week that are widely expected to progress well following meetings in Beijing this week, analysts said.

“The market would be very surprised if something doesn’t come out of trade talks over the next 2-4 weeks,” Bain said, adding that “if something didn’t happen I think you could see quite a sharp fall.”

The tit-for-tat tariff dispute between the world’s top economies has cost both sides billions of dollars in exports, disrupted supply chains and roiled financial markets.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended 1.1 percent higher at $6,236 per tonne, rebounding from a two-and-a-half-month low touched the previous session.

The metal used in the power industry and construction was down over 2.5 percent on the week, its biggest weekly loss since early November after computer-driven funds sold following an options expiry.

DOLLAR: Traders focused on weaker spots in the U.S. jobs report, ignoring a jump in jobs growth and a 49-year-low in unemployment.

At the same time, comments from two regional Federal Reserve chiefs supported bets the U.S. central bank might lower key lending rates by the end of the year.

INVENTORIES: Copper stocks available to the market in LME-approved warehouses — on warrant stocks — dropped 5,750 tonnes to 164,375 tonnes MCUSTX-TOTAL. This is up from 21,600 tonnes at the end of February.

TRADE TALKS: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that President Donald Trump was optimistic the United States could reach a deal on trade with China.

ALUMINIUM: On warrant stocks of LME aluminium have jumped 36 percent over the last week and inched up a further 1,050 tonnes to 874,050 tonnes, LME data showed on Friday. MALSTX-TOTAL

PRICES: Aluminium dipped 1.1 percent to $1,795.50 per tonne, zinc rose 1.5 percent to $2,772 after falling to a seven-week low in the previous session, lead gained 1.3 percent to $1,900, tin gained 0.3 percent to $19,325 while nickel was bid up 1.2 percent at $12,190.

Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by Susan Fenton and Edmund Blair

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