London copper prices fell on Friday as tensions escalated between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, with an unexpected rise in U.S. unemployment also denting sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.8% to $6,492 a tonne by 0136 GMT, while the September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.5% to 52,020 yuan ($7,429.52) a tonne, tracking an overnight gain in London.
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While China vowed to retaliate against the U.S. move to close its Houston consulate, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways.
Meanwhile, U.S. data showed unemployment rose unexpectedly, suggesting that the labor market was stalling amid the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
* NICKEL: ShFE nickel jumped 3.3% to 108,800 yuan a tonne, while LME nickel eased 0.2% to $13,665 a tonne, following a 4.2% jump in the previous session after Tesla’s boss Elon Musk urged miners to produce more nickel.
* OTHER METALS: LME aluminum eased 0.1% to $1,700 a tonne and zinc fell 0.3% to $2,234 a tonne. ShFE zinc advanced 1.8% to 18,165 yuan a tonne and tin rose 1.1% to 143,000 yuan a tonne.
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($1 = 7.0018 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V)