Copper inched lower on Friday as the euro fell against the dollar on concerns over the Eurozone debt crisis, but worries about supply from Chile, where workers went on strike at the world's largest copper mine, lent support.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $9,675 (Dh35,507) a tonne, 0.10 down from a $9,685 a tonne close on Thursday, when the metal used in power and construction fell to its lowest level this week.
Copper pared earlier gains and turned negative as the dollar rose against the euro, making metals priced in the US currency more costly for holders of other currencies.
The euro eased against the dollar as investors looked past the announcement of a second rescue package for Greece and measures to stop the debt crisis from spreading to focus on how it will be carried out.
Doubts about economic growth and metals demand in top consumer China also weighed on prices, and data showing shrinking factory activity in China added to these concerns.
"The Chinese numbers were nasty," said Nic Brown, an analyst at Natixis.
"You are seeing a slowdown in demand, there is no doubt about that. But the question is how long and how painful this soft patch is going to be."
HSBC's China Flash PMI dropped by its fastest pace since March 2009 and pointed to a monthly contraction in the country's vast manufacturing sector for the first time in 12 months, data showed on Thursday.
Supporting copper, though, workers at the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, pressed ahead with a 24-hour strike on Friday to demand that global miner BHP Billiton raise bonuses linked to lofty earnings.
From / Gulf News