Copper continues decline

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    LONDON- Copper prices drifted lower on concerns about weak global growth even though the US unemployment rate dropped to near a 50-year low, while tight supply cushioned the fall.

    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 slipped 0.3 percent to $5,643 a ton in final open outcry trading. Copper has declined for five sessions and shed 2.1 percent this week.

    Earlier this week, data showed US manufacturing activity plunged to a more than 10-year low in September, but data showed on Friday that US job growth increased moderately in September.

    “I think it is fair to say we are in a manufacturing recession globally, which is not really surprising if you look at the car market … something that is holding back metals demand,” said analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich.

    “It’s all about demand at the moment, because if you look at the supply side for copper, we have some severe issues there, and aluminum supply is falling globally, which hasn’t happened in about 10 years.”

    Copper is consumed widely in the power and construction sectors and often used to gauge global economic health. China, whose economy has been hurt by the prolonged trade war with the United States, accounts for around half of global copper demand. – Reuters